#ArtHeals: Save Mural in Givens Park

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The week of Friday, April 19th, a mural of Andre ‘Big Dre’ Davis began in honor of him being shot and killed in Givens Park almost a week prior. Death is never an easy experience for a community. The mural began as an act of honor, healing, and respect for someone whose life was taken only a few feet away from the mural.  Malik, the artist, realized the community’s need for a piece of art honoring people killed from gun violence and police brutality in Austin, Texas. Since Friday, April 19th, Maleek has added more faces, of people either killed by police brutality or gun violence.

The City of Austin unfortunately, continues to  illustrate their inability to understand the significance of preserving art in the heart of communities impacted by gun violence and police brutality. Creating murals to celebrate someone’s life and honor them after death has been a cultural norm of people of African ancestry.  People of African ancestry, in the United States, have utilized graffiti and murals to express honor and respect of people influential to the community since the 1960s. In the 1960s, mural art in Chicago began to focus on the cultural and historical aesthetics of people of African ancestry.  

The creation of murals has been an intricate part of the African Diasporic culture, and the community is requesting the City of Austin (COA) honor cultural norms.  The community requests the completion of the mural honoring people from Austin killed from gun violence and police brutality, in Givens Park by Malik. Art is Healing and the City of Austin must begin to honor what the community wants in their parks, their cities, and preserve spaces that existed prior to Austin being weird.  

We invite  you to support our recommendations for our  #ArtisHealing. We are working for the mural in Givens Park to be the first installment of an #ArtisHealing series. #ArtisHealing is a series associated with our Push for Peace initiative. Push for Peace is an initiative dedicated to co-cultivating culturally mindful, healing and human-centered, healing spaces with community, for communities impacted directly or indirectly by trauma.  #Artishealing utilizes art to honor and memorialize people who have died by way of police brutality, gun, and/or domestic violence in Austin, Texas. This mural is the only one in Austin honoring people of African ancestry in this way. A mural inviting families and the community to heal through art.

We invite you to sign the petition to allow Maleek to continue to honor people killed due to gun violence and police brutality through the mural in Givens Park.  We have scheduled a community meeting Wednesday, May 8th, at Givens Park. Please join us so we need to hear any questions, concerns, and/ideas you may have.

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