Monday, September 20, 2010
Newton - Mural Celebration
It was a fabulous day. The weather, beautiful. The turnout, over 200. And the spirit, including a sweet dance performance accompanied by live music, just heartwarming. Many people spoke about the project including Barb Burns, Rachel Epp Buller, Erika Nelson, Joe Loganbill, and Bethel College President Perry White. You can read some of their comments in the Newton Kansan article published today.
Here are some of my comments from the program handed out at the celebration:
Approaching the mural, one sees a group of people around a table engaged in the process of building, playing, restoring, and imagining. These figures are symbolic of the Newton/ North Newton community. They are not based on particular individuals so much as they are composites of the many and varied peoples of the area. This group. This family. This community. They have chosen to address the important questions of their town's identity, history, and future, and they are actively working to better understand who they are and what they wish to become. So, this mural is not so much a literal transcribing of history or an enumeration of the individuals and architecture already known, as it is an evocation of an idea or a visual poem that attempts to capture the spirit of an energized and optimistic community choosing to become a better place for all of its citizens.
Dance performance by the Newton Dance Project choreographed by Sara Dick.
Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make this such a great project. Now, all I've got to do is varnish that darn thing in the morning and we can call it good.