Manhattan women paint RBG tribute mural

Published: Oct. 24, 2020 at 1:36 PM CDT
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MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) - A pair of women from Manhattan are encouraging all to stand for justice, truth and community with a tribute to former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The City of Manhattan says two local women led the development of a large mural of late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who passed away in September. It said in downtown Manhattan in the alley opposite the Chef, off 4th St. between Poyntz and Houston, the mural is a tribute to Ginsburg’s contributions to justice and gender equality and a celebration of American’s joining together to strengthen their community.

According to the City, Taylor Carr, local artist, and Jessica Kerr, Community Organizing and Education Chair with the Manhattan Alliance for Peace and Justice, the project came together naturally, quickly and gained traction.

“We were at a bonfire and we were thinking of ways to honor Justice Ginsburg that could also speak to work going on in Manhattan to promote community change. Taylor overheard us chatting and offered to help,” explains Kerr. “Before we knew it, the team from Incite MHK found us wall space and Taylor had a design.”

The City said on Oct. 16, Kerr and Carr and a team of women came together to paint the mural. It said using a projector to trace the forms, the women drew, taped and painted the mural over a span of three days. It said local businesses energized the project by providing snacks and drinks and cheering on the workers. It said passing bikers and pedestrians stopped to learn about the mural and offer their support.

“This is such a polarizing moment in America — with elevated political tensions, the pandemic and protests for racial justice,” Kerr says. “To paint this mural in tribute to a great American woman who was respected by people across the political spectrum seems like something we can all get behind. Rather than despair at the state of our country, we can look at what RBG stood for and maybe we can imagine a better future where we come together to build community around principles of equity and justice.”

According to the City, Taylor Carr is the artist behind the mural. It said she is a lifelong Kansan, K-State graduate and partner in ACME Local. It said Carr saw an opportunity to make a positive impact on the town she loves.

“RBG’s loss was just gut-wrenching,” Carr says. “To be able to design and paint this mural of a woman who fought her way forward to make such huge contributions to our society is just inspiring. To honor her life and work, and the ideas that cross lines of politics seems more important than ever today.”

The City said the mural was made possible by donations from Manhattan area residents through a website the team put together on Squarespace. It said organizational sponsors include INCITE MHK, a collective of local artists and supporters interested in elevating Manhattan’s quality of place, and the Manhattan Alliance for Peace and Justice, an organization dedicated to equipping and empowering local residents to take direct and collective action for a more just and equitable city.

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