Black Lives Matter Mural To Be Painted In Front Of City Hall

Jun 17, 2020

A Black Lives Matter mural will be painted on Plum Street in front of Cincinnati City Hall.

City Council approved the project Wednesday afternoon and painting was expected to begin immediately. It's scheduled to be complete in time for a press conference Friday at 2 p.m.

The city is partnering with Black Art Speaks, ArtsWave and ArtWorks.

The Black Live Matter mural will be painted in the blue area on Plum Street in front of Cincinnati City Hall.
Credit Provided / City of Cincinnati

Each letter of the mural has an assigned artist and a team of assistants.

"The city manager seeks to express its support for the Black Lives Matter movement by installing a street mural on Plum Street between Eighth Street and Ninth Street, raising public awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement," the city said in a presentation about the mural. "The passage of the ordinance before you today, authorizes the city manager to execute this effort with council adopting the message as its own speech."

Several council members said the mural is not going to be the cure for racism.

Council Member Wendell Young said he's proud of the council for making the decision. He called it a "gutsy" move.

"There are a lot of people who think this is the wrong thing to do," Young said. "There are a lot of people who have not arrived at where we are."

Council Member Jeff Pastor said the mural will be nice, but he said people are asking for more than symbolism.

"There are people who have reached out that said 'murals are great, you know, but policies behind the murals are even better,' " Pastor said. "We have an issue in the city of Cincinnati that a mural is not going to be able to solve, and this is a first step."

Council Member Greg Landsman acknowledged the city has an enormous amount of work to do.

"To eliminate those disparities across the board, not just in law enforcement and policing, but as it relates to all aspects of how we live and work and interact," Landsman said. "So, from education to housing to jobs and so on and so forth, we’ve got a lot of work to do."

Private donations will be used to pay for the mural and the city manager said the only city expense will be staff time to facilitate the painting.