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Avondale community and officers to paint new ArtWorks mural together

Posted at 6:23 AM, Jul 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-27 09:44:12-04

CINCINNATI — ArtWorks is creating a new mural in Avondale, but this one will be created by members of the community and by law enforcement officers together.

Officials hope the Avondale Mediation Mural will stem conversation and understanding between officers and the community.

"There is a lot of people who have animosity towards the police, and there's police that have animosity towards the community," said Jeni Jenkins, designer and ArtWorks leading teaching artist.

Jenkins said the project was created as a result of community conversations between both groups.

"What I heard in those conversations was both sides," she said. "Both people, all the parties, the two different parties in the room were saying, hear me out."

Teenagers will start painting the mural, treating the project as a full-time job and getting paid for it. Then officers will join them, and the mural will be finished in a few months.

"For me, the message that I'm trying to send is that just at least have a conversation," said Walnut Hills High School senior Xavier McDaniel, one of the teens working on the project. "I feel like once we are able to engage in conversation, so then we can start to talk about the problems that's been happening."

"This mural is not going to cure the community, but it is a project for hope," Jenkins said. "It's a project to put it out there into the world and to try to say, 'Hey, we can be better. We can have conversations, we can have dialogue, we can do something different.'"

A public presentation on the project's progress will be given at noon Tuesday at the old fire station at 639 Rockdale Avenue.