Artists eager to begin 6 Black Lives Matter street murals in Kansas City

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Six street murals paying tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement will soon be created in neighborhoods across the city.

The Kansas City Council voted 12-1 Thursday in favor of a resolution to paint the murals on six city streets, similar to what we’ve seen in Washington D.C. and other American cities.

The other locations include: Troost Avenue near 31st Street, Briarcliff Parkway and North Mulberry in the Northland, 10th Street and Baltimore Avenue, 18th and Vine streets, Brookside Boulevard and 63rd Street, and Meyer Boulevard and Troost Avenue.

Troost has long been viewed as a racial dividing line in Kansas City, so it’s no surprise that two of the murals will symbolically seek to break down that barrier.

Michael Toombs, one of the artists who will create a street mural, is working with teens in transition at Arts Tech.

Picture of artist Michael Toombs
Artist Michael Toombs

“I do something called creative placemaking,” Toombs said. “For me in creative placemaking, the most important thing is to allow everyone in our city to be able to come together and celebrate in a peaceful way what we have contributed to the evolution of our town. Things were and probably still are difficult in a lot of ways, but we can at least exhibit what happens in our city when people come together and work on a common goal.”

Five other artists will design works to complement the surrounding neighborhoods, with an eye toward enhancing characteristics that make Midtown, Brookside and other areas of Kansas City special.

Bright, bold colors seem to be a common factor in other murals created in cities across the nation.

The murals will cost about $12,000, all paid for through private money. No tax dollars are being spent on this. All six artists will start on Sept. 5.

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