Breakfast, ‘We are the Community’ photo memorialize revitalization efforts
Amidst a snowstorm and advisory alerts in Niagara Falls and throughout Western New York, Niagara Falls National Heritage Area had a “We are the Community” breakfast on Saturday, celebrating four completed murals on Main Street. In addition, the community’s accomplishments were memorialized through a “We are the Community” photo, bringing attention to their efforts in an area needing revitalization.
A press release explained, “The rapid development of four murals on Main Street in Niagara Falls was conducted earlier this month by artists, organizations, community members and stakeholders to create public awareness about topics like ‘History Lives Here,’ ‘We are the Community,’ and ‘Imagine the Possibilities’ and ‘This Was a School.’
“These murals are a part of Niagara Falls National Heritage Area’s placemaking, which focuses on engaging the community through public art in areas like Main Street, located at the north end of the City of Niagara Falls. The project aimed to initiate conversations about the city’s historical legacy and present-day and future possibilities.”
Niagara Falls National Heritage Area Executive Director Sara Capen said, “I am so excited for the community, as I saw a lot of joy today. A range of business partners supported the event; DiCamillo Bakery, Power City Eatery, Hyde Park Café, Black House Beignet, and artists like Marsha McWilson donated their time, energy and food to the event to make it a positive experience. Events like this create a spark forward and ignite hope within the community.”
“This was such a great and fun experience for the Niagara Falls community. People were not defeated by the snow, but came out to celebrate and make a day of it,” said Ally Spongr, Niagara Falls National Heritage Area director of public art, and Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center interim director.
Community resident Jasiah Jackson said, “Growing up in Niagara Falls, we are used to playing it safe. We see a social and cultural shift within the Niagara Falls community. People who live here are tired of sticking to tradition and having our voices not heard. It is important for people to know that there are groups and organizations that stand behind them.”
The “NF Murals” project is part of Niagara Falls Heritage Arts, the public art initiative of the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area. The NFNHA facilitates partnerships between artists, public and private organizations, and community members and stakeholders to envision and create public art, impacting the cultural landscape with pieces that reflect and honor the history and legacy of Niagara Falls. Learn more at nfmurals.org and discoverniagara.org.