Mansfield Seeks Community Volunteers to Help Paint Martin Luther King, Jr. Mural October 11 and 13; Donations Encouraged to Reach Full Funding Match from Sustainable CT
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MANSFIELD, CT – The Town of Mansfield and the Human Rights Commission, along with other community partners, are moving forward with CT Murals and Connecticut-based artist, Emida Roller, to install a large-scale mural bringing to life the messages of Martin Luther King, Jr. This mural is part of CT Murals’ statewide campaign to bring the message of justice, equity and love through the symbolism of MLK, to 39 communities in our state, representing 39 years of Dr. King’s life.
The public is invited to participate in two planned community paint days: Monday, October 11 outdoors at the Mansfield Public Library, 54 Warrenville Road, from 12 noon to 5 PM (In case of rain, the session will be held at the Mansfield Middle School indoors, 205 Spring Hill Road), or on Wednesday, October 13 at the UConn Student Union Room 304B from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.
At this phase of the project, Artist Emida Roller is designing the mural with community input, and she is organizing the opportunity for the public to paint the mural. Volunteers may contact the Town Manager’s office with questions, sign up online, or just pop in. To sign up for the UConn paint day, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a spot.
Fundraising is also underway to finance the project. The partners have a goal to raise $7,500 which will be matched, dollar for dollar, by Sustainable CT. Donors can submit their donations online, or mail a check, noted for the Mansfield mural, to The RiseUP Group, Inc., 942 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06103
“We are excited to see this mural project progressing with so many community partners behind it, and with such an inspired artist at the helm,” says Glenn Mitoma, Chair of the Mansfield Human Rights Commission which is leading the coordination of the project. “Now we want to see what our community envisions for this important piece of public art. It should reflect our community’s commitment to human rights and the legacy of Dr. King. We hope people of all ages and backgrounds will provide their input to the survey,” he says. “We also need the community to help fund this project, and hope that folks will donate what they can to make this possible. Sustainable CT’s matching funds offer is very generous, and I hope this funding can come together quickly.”
Mansfield's mural will be painted on panels mounted along the front of the Mansfield Community Center and will be unveiled in fall of 2021. The panels will allow for the mural to be moved around the town for years to come. Artist Emida Roller will guide volunteers in a series of community paint days which will be organized starting in October once the design is set. For six years, Emida was one of the lead artists at Dane Arts Mural Arts (DAMA) in Madison, Wisconsin where she also served as the Executive Director before moving to Eastern Connecticut. She has extensive experience in community mural production, and operates her company Wall Designs by Emida, LLC. A native of Nigeria, Ms Roller holds degrees in Master of Arts and a Master of Fine Art from the University of Illinois.
Other participating organizations supporting this mural effort in Mansfield include Windham/Willimantic Chapter of the NAACP, Mansfield Public Schools, Region 19/Edwin O. Smith High School, Mansfield Community Center, Mansfield Arts Advisory Committee, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield Downtown Partnership, the University of Connecticut, and Conversations on Racism Mansfield (COR Mansfield).
“It is a tremendous opportunity for our community to be one of the 39 mural sites associated with CT Murals and this project to honor Dr. King’s messages and legacy,” says Mansfield Town Manager Ryan Aylesworth. “This collaboration among so many organizations in our community which value human rights will lead us to explore other potential initiatives. We are eager to see this mural project move forward,” he adds.