The Greater Topeka Partnership’s Office of Equity and Opportunity announced today that it is planning to sponsor a new multicultural mural in the North Topeka (NOTO) Arts District. The mural, which will be located on the west-facing wall of the Topeka Habitat for Humanity building, will have three separate sections which will pay homage to Topeka’s diverse heritage as well as the history of three foundational, historically marginalized, minority groups. Conveying art through the lens of the Black, LatinX and Native American perspectives will be three artists, who represent these respective backgrounds.
Glenda Washington, the Greater Topeka Partnership’s Chief Equity & Opportunity Officer, relates “The history of Topeka, is the history of people of color. African American, Latino and Native Americans reflect some of the earliest people to settle in our community. From our founding amidst Bleeding Kansas, the civil rights struggle during Brown vs the Topeka Board of Education, to the modern Black Live Matter movement, our city has never shied away from the pursuit of racial and social equity. I am proud to help bring to life a mural that celebrates that history and adds to the other murals in NOTO that have provoked important dialogue.”
Jacob Wamego, President of Prairie Band, LLC reflected “The Potawatomi arrived in the Topeka region after being forced from their ancestral homes in the Great Lakes area. We are honored to celebrate the story of our heritage, as well as celebrate the rich native history of this region.”
District 2 Councilwoman Christina Valdivia-Alcala commented, “I am happy to be part of this multicultural mural project. Also, I am excited to know we have wonderful artists of color involved in bringing forth the history in this city of a diverse and vibrant population.”
“We must commit to bringing equity to our efforts and help bring justice to the communities in which we work. We must, throughout our ministry, do a better job of connecting issues of racial and social injustice with historic barriers to affordable housing and working to eradicate those barriers,” said Janice Watkins, CEO of Topeka Habitat for Humanity. “We are pleased to host and support this mural on our building and incorporate that vision into the work that Topeka Habitat does throughout our community."
Artists are being reviewed for this mural and work is expected to begin by the end of the month.
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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Bob Ross at Bob.Ross@TopekaPartnership.com.