The Diatribe continues antiracist art project

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Courtesy The Diatribe

The Diatribe will continue The 49507 Project for the second consecutive year with new artists and murals.

The people of color-, LGBTQ- and youth-led project aims to educate others about neighborhoods in the 49507 ZIP code through teachings, community listening sessions, research and art.

The 49507 Project educates others about redlining and gentrification throughout West Michigan school districts using the “Writing to Right Wrongs” class, taught by The Diatribe teaching artists. It also provides the opportunity for contracted artists to paint murals on the sides of minority-owned businesses. The project is designed to organize community engagement through listening sessions, which will begin in March.

“If you want to see what true investment in the community, liberation and reclamation looks like, drive through southeast and southwest Grand Rapids,” said Marcel Price, executive director of The Diatribe. “We need to pour hope into our young people, our poets, creatives and neighborhoods. The 49507 Project is meant to be disruptive. A renaissance is brewing, and it’s within the neighborhoods outside of downtown Grand Rapids.”

The sessions are not open to the public, but students who live in the neighborhoods of Southwest Middle High School, Ottawa Hills High School and Grand Rapids Museum School are encouraged to attend.

  • 8:50 a.m. Thursday, March 10, at Ottawa Hills High School, 2055 Rosewood Ave. SE
  • 9:10 a.m. Tuesday, March 15, at Grand Rapids Museum School, 272 Pearl St. NW

Mural locations

  • Samaria J’s Salon Suite, at 701 Grandville Ave. SW
  • Load A Spud, at 1721 Madison Ave. SE
  • Farmers Insurance, at 2435 Eastern Ave. SE
  • B’s Party Store, at 1216 Kalamazoo Ave. SE
  • Aleman Auto Repair, at 1801 S. Division Ave.
  • Cisneros Tire Service, at 800 S. Division Ave.
  • 1956 Eastern Ave. SE
  • 1935 Eastern Ave. SE

Last year, murals were painted by Black and brown artists on the buildings of La Casa De La Cobija, Public Thread, Boost Mobile, 40 Acres Headquarters, South East Market, Grand Rapids Area Black Businesses and The Old Goat.

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