Driving around Los Angeles to the locations where the larger protests have been held, I’ve noticed art beginning to appear on the boarded up windows of the shops.
In many cases it is simply graffiti or tagging, but often there are some beautiful murals. No where is this more evident than at the famous intersection of Hollywood and Vine. Hollywood has been the location of several Black Lives Matter protests. This most recent with over 20,000 people present was the largest, and also the first one in which there was no violence and little if any destruction.
Driving through the area the following day I noticed a couple dozen artists had taken to the intersection of Hollywood and Vine and transforming the boarded up windows into works of art. I got out and took photos of what they were doing and spoke with one of the people organizing the mural project.
The project is a collaboration between Hollywood businesses and Art Bridging the Gap. Art Bridging the Gap is an organization that works with youth in underserved communities to help them become their fullest selves. I noticed on their website they have an LA Street Art Initiative that is a “mural project that brings children, LAPD officers and community members together through an empathy curriculum as they design and create 150 murals across the City of LA…. This program fosters empathy and connection between between youth and law enforcement while cultivating a sense of ownership, leadership and pride in community. The finished art pieces aid in reducing crime rates and improving overall community well-being.”
I’m not sure if what I saw happening on Hollywood and Vine is part of that initiative or not but I was impressed with what I saw happening there. The art literally changed what has been occurring from a series of protests and riots into a peaceful movement. And as a movement a lot more will be accomplished in terms of ending racism and bringing equal rights to everyone once and for all.
Force is generally met with more force and no effective communication occurs between people that are angry. Art is the most powerful communication tool there is. I think when the dust all settles we will find that the mural project on Hollywood and Vine and similar projects did far more toward ending racism and bringing about a world where all people truly have equal rights than the protests and riots.
See the photos below the ad break…