Web Extra! Slideshow
Austin was indeed doing something last Saturday May 22, as residents, community and elected leaders came out for the unveiling of a new mural at Mayfield and Chicago that highlights AIDS awareness.
Rather than showing sickness or despair, the Austin Is Doing Something mural depicts a young person helping an elder and a male in meditation, among other images. The wall of awareness-style mural, co-sponsored by the Sankofa Business and Cultural Arts Center and the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, is located on the side of a building overlooking the newly-designated Leola Spann and Ed Bailey memorial park. The creators of the mural plan to open a park with landscaping and other amenities on the now vacant lot at the corner of Mayfield and Chicago.
Saturday’s afternoon ceremony included remarks by supporters, elected officials and those behind the mural’s conception. Among those in attendance-and also painting the last open patch on the mural-were Ald. Deborah Graham (29th), state Sen. Don Harmon (39th) and state Rep. LaShawn Ford (8th). Sankofa owners Malcolm and Stacia Crawford also said a few words to the crowd.
Chicago artist Carla Carr, who designed the mural, was pleased with the finished project and supports its awareness message. “It’s something that’s been really important to me,” she said in getting the word out. “I feel like it’s our silence that keep us from getting information and we need to break that silence.”
The afternoon continued with music, performances by youth, and free food provided to the community.