The 49507 Project is a Black, Brown, Queer, and youth-led project rooted in collaboration to help make truly Public Art steered by the community where these pieces will live. This community art will utilize artists that are a reflection of those who have been underserved in The 49507 neighborhood.

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Can Community Outreach Be Organic?

Can we use art to furtner activate our fellow neighbors, shift power dynamics in under resourced areas, and more importantly, change the narrative while pushing to make The 49507 a multicultural arts district so that we can make our neighborhood a reflection of the culture that calls our community home for years to come.

The 49507 Project

Diatribe logo

The 49507 Project

The 49507 Project is a Black, Brown, Queer, and youth-led project rooted in collaboration to help make truly Public Art steered by the community where these pieces will live. This community art will utilize artists that are a reflection of those who have been underserved in The 49507 neighborhood.

Can Community Outreach Be Organic?

Can we use art to further activate our fellow neighbors, shift power dynamics in under-resourced areas, and more importantly, change the narrative while pushing to make The 49507 a multicultural arts district so that we can make our neighborhood a reflection of the culture that calls our community home for years to come.

The 49507 Project: More than just Murals

The 49507 Project is an artist and youth-led community celebration commissioning seven local Black and Brown artists for large scale murals on prominent buildings in majority Black and Brown neighborhoods. The Project begins with arts programming for young people, incorporates community listening sessions and summer programming, and concludes with a youth-organized community art unveiling. This is an anti-racist project by and for POC.

Not only will these murals bring vibrancy to the area for years to come but fostering youth as future leaders of their community will have a lasting impact.

Project Details

Youth who complete the Diatribe’s Writing to Right Wrongs program with the Fair Housing Center of West Michigan at Ottawa Hills High School in 2021 will be invited to participate in The 49507 Project. After learning about gentrification, redlining and housing discrimination, these students will take part in the development of the project, learn organizing skills, and play key roles. Click + to read more

Youth will work collaboratively with mural artists and Diatribe team members to plan community listening sessions to gather input from neighborhood residents. Sessions will be an opportunity for dialogue with community stakeholders ranging from business owners, to nonprofit professionals, community advocates, pastors, elders, parents, and artists. The conversation with neighbors will not only shape the art, but hopefully work as a catalyst to document the ways extraordinary, everyday, Grand Rapidians would like to see our neighborhoods evolve.

Artists will synthesize these ideas and design murals that reflect the community to be installed in the fall. Youth will plan and execute the public art community mural unveilings and will present spoken word at the events.

This initiative is led by Black and Brown artists and marginalized groups for their own communities. The 49507 Project will create sustainable, youth-led initiatives to shift the future narrative of local 49507 neighborhoods by educating students about fair housing rights and fostering their voice through spoken word, giving them the tools to integrate the arts with social justice and community organizing.

Support

The 49507 Project is made possible through the generous financial support of individuals and local funders. Contributions to the Diatribe fund programs in schools and community that help students find their voice, empower neighbors, and celebrate our community. Help us make this possible for years to come.

Fueled by

Community Partners

Artists and Locations

Click the artist and business names to learn more about them

Mural locations map
2355 Division building photo

1. 2355 Division Ave S

ArtistErick Picardo

Business • La Casa de la Cobija • Angelica Velazquez

1405 Buchanan building photo

2. 1405 Buchanan Ave SW 

ArtistKristin Zuller
Business • Public Thread • Lisa Knight • Janay Brower

1721 Madison building photo

3. 1221 Madison Ave SE

ArtistJosh Solas
BusinessBoost Mobile • Henry Pena

703 Eastern building photo

4. 703 Eastern Ave SW

ArtistE’lla Webber

Business40 Acres Headquarters • Darel Ross

1002-1006 Hall building photo

5. 1220 Kalamazoo Ave SE

ArtistOctavia Thorns
BusinessThe South East Market • Alita Kelly • Khara DeWit

2012 Eastern building photo

6. 2012 Eastern Ave SE

ArtistEsan Sommersell
Business • Grand Rapids Area Black Businesses • Jamiel Robinson

2434 Eastern building photo

7. 2434 Eastern Ave SE

Artist • Tony Whlgn

Business • The Old Goat • Cory DeMint

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Contact/Booking: info@thediatribe.org

We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations.

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Site Design by KCAD students & faculty as part of the EPIC Project.

Our Grand Rapids Community Foundation logo
Spectrum Health Logo
Fair Housing Center of West Michigan logo
Weg Foundation logo
South Town Logo
Grand Rapids Area Black Businesses
Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs logo
Frey foundation logo
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Poetry foundation logo
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Steelcase Foundation logo
National Endowment for the Arts Logo
Garfeild Park Neighborhood Association logo