Multicultural News

‘Community Canvas’ offers Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood interactive art

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Giving a voice to the community and doing it through art: That’s what’s happening in the Martindale-Brightwood community.

That art includes chalk and a blank canvas. Several organizations worked to get this art installed. And it’s more than just the hope for a better world. It’s symbolizes something that’s already there and is simply being built on.

Community sticks out on this colorful mural near the intersection of 25th Street and Sherman Drive. But it’s more than words on wood. It’s where the people live. And it’s their words that help spur action. At least that was the plan when several area organizations decided to erect a mural.

“The level of expression for the community. To hear the ideas in the positive things that happened,” said James Wilson of Circle Up Indy, the organization that helped fund this project.

But it wouldn’t just be art. It would be a blank canvas, soliciting ideas on how to make the world and community a better place.

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“We cannot continue to solve the problems in our communities if we’re not listening to the people. Sometimes they don’t always come out and directly speak to us, but they have a level of expression,” Wilson said.

The historically Black community over the years has faced a lot. Gentrification is one of them and it’s spreading. Circle Up Indy is finalizing plans to begin building homes to allow self-sustainability to the community in an effort to help keep the communities identity.

“You start to have relocation.. Especially minorities. They don’t have the funds to relocate. And when that happens, depression comes in,” said community member George Shepard.

Shepard has lived here just 10 months but he has seen what gentrification can do to a community.

“This is a food desert. You have to go 10 miles just to go to a discount store,” he said.

While the mural alone won’t create the change, it’ll provide input and inspiration on where this community can go.

Circle Up Indy is actively working to expand affordable housing in the community and are gearing up for the annual Peace Festival.

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