When H&R Block and Next Door announced Make Every Block Better, a nationwide competition to uplift communities and connect neighbors, long-time Walnut Hills resident Gary Dangel sprung into action. Gary’s Walnut Hills nomination was selected as one of 2,000 neighborhoods from across the country, hoping to promote safety, art, and nature in front of Frederick Douglass Elementary School with a street mural.
“I wanted this street to become safer for our kids and neighbors,” Gary said. “A mural is a beautiful way to get people to slow down and be mindful.”
Once Gary was notified his project was selected as one of 10 projects funded, he recruited ArtWorks to bring his dreams to fruition. ArtWorks then brought in a familiar face, Brandon Hawkins of Soul Palette to design the mural and lead the project. His team consisted of Walnut Hills residents and six Youth Apprentices (Ella Emanuel, Marin Emanuel, Wesley Ericson, LaDe Richardson, Gabby Mendez, and Myles Williams).
The mural on Park Avenue depicts three panthers (Frederick Douglass Elementary’s mascot) with scenes of neighborhood buildings and nature filling each body as a nod to the school and community garden which sits across from it. The project took two days to complete and was finished on Sunday, October 11.
Thank you to the following for being a part of this incredible weekend:
The residents of Walnut Hills
Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation
Frederick Douglass Elementary
Be The Machine
Espresso Priest and Church of the Advent
ArtWorks is an award-winning Greater Cincinnati nonprofit that transforms people and places through investments in creativity. The organization creates jobs for youth, ages 14-21 with the majority from underserved households, providing competitive 21st-century career-readiness skills through mentorship by professional artists. Since 1996, ArtWorks has employed more than 3,600 youth and 3,200 creative professionals, and the organization has completed more than 12,500 public and private art projects that include 200 permanent outdoor murals, contributing to the region’s global reputation as an arts destination.