Thursday, September 26, 2013

Mural dialogue appears in the Hastings Tribune

People have begun to notice the mural taking shape over on East Side Boulevard. Community painting days brought nearly 250 volunteers out to begin filling in our block-long canvas. Drivers slow down and stop to try to make out the images. Merchants and shoppers on Second Street ask us how it's going and give their two cents about the design. The media has taken notice too. Articles and reports in local papers and tv news programs have highlighted the project focusing mainly on the buoyant mood surrounding the collaborative painting. Less expected was the wonderfully positive editorial that ran in the Hastings Tribune last week.

Lead editorial in the September 19th Hastings Tribune.

It seems the editorial has sparked a dialogue about the importance of the mural and whether the city should focus its efforts elsewhere. In the days following two letters to the editor appeared. Here is the first.

Letter to the editor in the September 20th Hastings Tribune.

And then just a couple days later, this appeared as a rebuttal.

Letter to the editor in the September 24th Hastings Tribune.

A debate about the importance of community-based art in the local newspaper. An honest discussion among residents about the relative value of art versus other amenities in their community. Who would have seen this coming? Whichever side you're on, this is good news. When we start talking to each other (even if it begins in the letters column of the paper) about art and its role in our lives we are making progress. Thanks to the Tribune and the letter writers for beginning the discussion.

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