MLK Jr. mural bringing Charleston community together one face at a time

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CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — The city of Charleston has been working hard for over a year on a community-wide project to bring one of the most influential African American’s messages to the city.

“Dr. King’s message about equality, inclusion, and we are all in this together,” said Jeff Pierson the Director of Public Art with the City of Charleston.

The City of Charleston is coming together in more ways than one to create a new mural of the influential civil rights activist, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“And instead of just doing a mural of Martin Luther King, we decided to make it a community project. It will be the largest participatory project that we’ve taken on as a city ever,” said Pierson.

It will take 1,000 self-portraits of community members to make up the background of this mural. Members of the community have come from all different ages and artistic abilities to create an important background that will supply one message.

“Group of African American Churches, we are working with the LGBTQ community, and we are working with schools,” said Pierson.

Workshops for all different community members are held virtually through zoom. The community center provides all materials needed and teaches basic portrait painting skills.

Community members say they have loved getting involved in such a fun and easy way.

“This is a small way to continue furthering that dream of everyone being free…everyone being thrilled to live,” said Jared Cain, a Charleston community member.

The mural will be located on the side of the Martin Luther Kinf Jr. Community Center and visible from I-64 as drivers enter the city of Charleston.

These zoom workshops are free to the public and will be held the first Thursday of every month.

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