Posts Tagged murals

“Spread Southside Love” Frederick Douglass mural makes cover of March East of the River!

East-of-the-River-Magazine-March-2018-page-001Thank you Capital Community News and the editors of East of the River!

Paper will be distributed throughout the neighborhoods of Wards 7 & 8 Saturday, March 10, 2018.

Locations include DC Public Library branches, IHOP on Alabama Avenue, Anacostia Arts Center and the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site.

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MARCH 18 | SE COMMUNITY PICTURE DAY! — Spread and Show Southeast Love at 16th & W Street SE (Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 1:30 pm)

Community+Picture+Day+with+FD+MuralJoin The Advoc8te and members of the community for a southeast community picture day in front of this new mural in Anacostia!

The Advoc8te will also have plenty of #SOUTHEASTLOVE signs on hand for everyone who comes out!

Let’s spread love and honor our new mural!

All are invited regardless of residency! Join us!

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Editor’s Note:

Thank you to local journalist Nikki Peele and local author Dr. Courtney Davis for leading this community gathering to Spread Southside Love!

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Forklift Materials Help Bring The Spirit of the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial to the Anacostia Community (Guest Blog Post)

Hi Forklift Fans!

As we wrap up Black History Month, we want to share an amazing mural project that was recently completed as a part of the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site’s celebration of Douglass’ birthday. Led by local journalist and historian, John Muller, the project sought to create a mural installation that involves the local community and brings the spirit of the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial to the streets he walked and neighborhood he called home.

John Muller, a local journalist and historian in Anacostia, originally reached out to Forklift in search of drop cloths, tarps, and scaffolding for the project he was leading to commemorate the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial and Anacostia Park Centennial. He was excited to instead find other materials, such as our “oops” paint and eco-friendly Amazon Paint  which were used to paint the base of the mural for the ground and rolling green surface of Cedar Hill.

John’s knowledge and involvement in the Anacostia community inspired to him lead this mural project, since the community had been discussing the need for a beautification project for some time. In addition to covering the community for nearly a decade through a variety of online and print media outlets, John is also very well informed on the topic of Frederick Douglass, having written a book about Douglass’ final years in Washington, D.C.

Working alongside John was Rebeka Ryvola; the artist and co-creator behind the mural. Rebeka is an illustrator, based out of Boulder, Colorado and Washington, D.C, who works with mixed media through which she enjoys “shifting perspective, lending voice, prompting discourse, and bringing beauty into the world.”  We asked her to explain a little more about how the mural evolved:

“Douglass said, ‘It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.’ The mural concept was co-created with John, who thought it would be interesting to feature some other historical figures affiliated with Douglass in the mural, of whom he knew a great deal. When I started sketching, the scene that appeared was a garden party with abolitionist John Brown, journalist Grace Greenwood, Civil Rights leader Ida Wells, first African American Harvard grad Richard Greener, and Blanche Bruce, who was the first black senator to serve a full term. The space around these historical greats became filled in with children and animals from the community, some playing baseball, one serenading with a violin, an instrument that Douglass played. When I sent the concept to John for feedback he was elated to see it, explaining that it was a spot-on depiction of literary salons that Douglass used to host on the back lawn of his Cedar Hill house. Now this party is celebrating the lively community of Anacostia that resides just one block away from that very house.

Now these figures bring their revolutionary presence to the kids of the neighborhood, encouraging learning, curiosity, and exploration of their world and their ability to deconstruct any barriers, real or imagined, that prevent them from achieving their grandest dreams. -Artist Rebeka Ryvola

Rebeka (right) with Nettie Washington Douglass, an anti-trafficking activist and Frederick Douglass’ great granddaughter.

Before being commissioned for the mural, Rebeka focused on studying global environmental and social challenges – earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Global Resource Systems and Master’s Degrees in Environmental Management from the University of British Columbia and Yale University. According to Rebeka, she has always been artistic, and although she didn’t initially know how to connect art to her studies, she eventually came to realize she could combine both of her strong interests – all thanks to her supportive classmates in grad school.

“Some incredibly brilliant, bold, out-of-the-boxes classmates and a creative academic environment finally proved to me that art could play an important and valuable in opening eyes, changing hearts and minds, and uniting individuals, across communities, nations, and the world. Once I started to bring art into my studies and then my post-grad jobs, I couldn’t stop. I’ve conducted art workshops in Lebanon with Syrian and Lebanese Youth, and in Texas with unaccompanied migrant minors from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. I’ve led creative programming and illustrated for organizations including the World Bank, the Red Cross, and the White House, as well as publications of all kinds. Murals are new for me, but with this project I’m quite hooked.” -Rebeka Ryvola

Rebeka was inspired to become involved with the mural project because of Frederick Douglass’ historical significance. She feels he “continues to inspire so many, irrespective of race, age, or background, to this day. And the location of the mural, Anacostia in DC’s southeast, grapples more visibly than most places with the challenges Douglass worked so hard to address.” For her, the mural was a great “opportunity to explore the history of Frederick Douglass while engaging with the Anacostia community,” a project “100% in line” with her values.

Forklift is honored to have played a part in such a meaningful project that impacted so many in our community. Not only did the mural bring the Anacostia community together, it also received lots of attention from local and national press – The Washington Informer, Philadelphia Daily Tribune, and ABC7, to name a few.

The project’s GoFundMe account is still active. Any funds donated will help cover the costs of the muralist’s design time and labor, in addition to the cost of materials. To donate or learn more about the mural, click here!

“Thank you to you and all of Community Forklift for your help. Rebeka has done an incredible job.” -John Muller

 

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Thank you to our friends at the Washington Informer for featuring new Frederick Douglass mural at 16th & W Street SE

IMG_6545Thank you to publisher Denise Rolark Barnes, Esq. and our friends at The Washington Informer for their continued elevation and uplift of peoples and communities in a journalistic tradition of which Frederick Douglass is a founding father.

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Philadelphia Tribune features photo of “Spread Southside Love” mural (Tues., February 20, 2018, 3-A)

Philly Tribune _ Frederick Douglass Coverage 22018-page-001

Hundreds gather at Frederick Douglass home for bicentennial” by Bobbi Booker

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“Spread Southside Love” Mural makes cover of this week’s Street Sense! (Please support the newspaper by buying from your favorite vendor)

Street Sense Media 02.21.2018 wrap-around cover preview-page-001Thank you to Street Sense for their continued support of community news and local journalism.

Please support your local Street Sense vendor including your friend, and mine, author Gerald Anderson at 9th & G Street NW.

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ABC 7’s Sam Ford: As visitors this weekend flow into the historic Anacostia neighborhood to celebrate the 200th birthday of Frederick Douglass at his home, a National Historic Site….some will see a new mural that’s gone up a block away at 16th and W, SE to also celebrate the great event.

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, outdoorWatch the video here!

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