Off the Wall: Atlanta’s Civil Rights & Social Justice Journey’s main goal is to create community amongst our city by emphasizing the idea of uplifting civil rights and human rights as shared purpose that we can all advance to tell an everlasting story of coming together for change. Throughout this whole initiative, we wanted to ensure that every piece created a sense of community building. Here are the following ways we engaged our partners and our city in this powerful and legacy building project:
- Community Conversations:Community Conversations for Off the Wall will uplift the experiences, stories, and priorities of Atlanta’s civil rights past, present, and future- -shining a spotlight on the incredible civil rights organizing happening today. Resident engagement is key to the mural portion of this project, as artists will be creating designs that are informed by all of our community conversations. Topics can include general practices of inclusivity or specific social injustices experienced by certain demographics. In the context of Off the Wall, WonderRoot believes that individuals participate in myriad communities. Communities take many different forms and expressions based on identity, geography, and affinity. Conversations will speak to issues related to the black liberation movement, race, women’s rights, LGBTQ issues, immigrant and refugee rights, workers’ rights, rights of the differently abled, and all other civil rights issues visible in our communities.
We have nearly 40 community conversations happening now until Labor Day.
We made sure that we had a mix of conversations that were open to the public so that everyone had the ability to go.
We also have a mix of conversations that have the place based context of the City as well as the specific neighborhoods that murals will be placed in the fall. Through these, we will be hearing from residents in their neighborhoods about the things they want to see highlighted in murals in their areas.
- Selection of the tenth artist:
The tenth Off the Wall artist was selected through a multi-stage review process that prioritizes input from Atlanta residents and representatives from social justice and community organizations. WonderRoot conducted a call for artist intended specifically for our Atlanta-based artists. Of those who applied, all were considered in the first round of review. WonderRoot selected 30 candidates from this open call whose work best aligns with the mission of Off the Wall. Our Local Artist Selection Committee reviewed the list of 30 candidates and selected 5 finalists for the position. Through an online poll, 1 artist out of the 5 finalists was selected to join Off the Wall.
- Resident outreach and People connection:WonderRoot will be partnering with The Cute Shuttle, an Eco Transportation Co. that utilizes EV to transport daily in the residential area of the Westside of Atlanta, in addition to concerts, festivals, and events. Through electric transportation, they connect businesses and resources to people.
There is a real fear in many communities about the idea that once they see public art, they will too be displaced from the communities they’ve lived in their whole lives. It is important for us to inform residents of this project and its mission, which is to directly preserve the longstanding history of their communities.
WonderRoot and The Cute Shuttle will be doing flyer distribution and people connection in the neighborhoods where mural installation will happen in the fall. The first phase will include a half-day of distributing flyers and people connection in Vine City, West End, and English Avenue. We will be passing out flyers of the artists and about the project, as well as stopping throughout the neighborhood to talk to residents about the project.
The second phase of distribution will include distribution to residents about our upcoming event on September 10th, where artists will be able to show their mural designs to Atlanta residents and give feedback on the work before being installed at the end of the month.
Transportation within the city is scarce and/or hard to get to in some areas. The Cute Shuttle is an advocate for the effective green initiative through transportation and daily living. In the neighborhoods of Vine City, AUC, English Avenue, West End, Castleberry Hill and Downtown, they provide safe and efficient transportation.
- Giving information to Neighborhood Associations and presenting to NPUs:We will be giving Off the Wall information packets to Neighborhood Associations and NPUs about the Off the Wall initiative which will include, Major Partners, community partners, About the Project FAQ pages, Artist bios, and contact info if they’d like to learn more or schedule a presentation of the project for their constituents.
Please visit offthewallatl.org in the following months to follow our Public Activation events that will be taking place after Mural Installation in November to Super Bowl 53 in February 2019.