Reds Community Outreach
In August of 2018, during my internship with Cincinnati artist Cedric Michael Cox, I helped manage volunteers from Cincinnati companies P&G, Kroger, GE, Cincinnati Reds, the Cincinnati Zoo and members of the New Prospect Baptist Church in painting a mural for the church's new community center. The mural and renovation of the community center was sponsored by the Reds Community Fund Community Makeover program, which every year takes on a project in which employees from Cincinnati companies take a day to do volunteer work that aids in improving a community within Cincinnati. The 2018 project was a renovation of the New Prospect Baptist Church community center in Roselawn.
The mural was my first experience painting at such a large scale and outdoors. I helped prime the wall and grid it. I was also in charge of sketching the design on the wall, which having never worked at that scale, and having to use the design of another artist was quite a challenge for me. After all of the prep work, our goal, with the help of the volunteers, was to "color in" the mural in one day. I helped put a paint swatch of the color each space was supposed to be, and then passed out paint to volunteers and directed them in what color to paint where. We filled in the entire mural, leaving only detail work for the artist who designed it to finish.
This project was an incredibly rewarding experience for me. I enjoy a challenge and working on ladders and at an overwhelming scale in the August heat definitely pushed my limits. Physical and mental stress aside, I was blessed with an experience of collaboration among people from different companies, communities and backgrounds. I saw how therapeutic it was for people who were accustomed to sitting at a desk job to take a day to paint (I think they were also grateful to be on painting duty instead of landscaping or renovating the community center). I could also see the sense of accomplishment it gave them. The people of the New Prospect Baptist Church and Roselawn community were so incredibly enthusiastic and grateful, and I really enjoyed painting with them. I met so many interesting people and liked listening to different peoples stories while filling in the white spaces with bright colors. Everyone was so positive and really seemed to enjoy themselves despite the heat and hard work.
New Prospect Baptist Church