It's a State of Mind

Downtown Richmond Celebrates the Arts with Alive & Free: Murals on Macdonald – May 8, 2014

Amanda Elliott, Executive Director of Richmond Main Street Initiative, tells us about a special event to celebrate the arts in historic downtown Richmond, California on May 8, 2014

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Downtown Richmond is a neighborhood rich in history and public art. Take a stroll down Main Street (aka Macdonald Avenue) and you will encounter many pieces of captivating art that tells the story of Downtown from past to present to future. On May 8, 2014, Downtown Richmond will welcome the newest addition to this legacy of arts and culture with a special event to dedicate and celebrate a new mural.

Sponsored by Richmond Main Street Initiative (RMSI), Alive & Free: Murals on Macdonald, is an event all about art and its powerful presence in Downtown Richmond. The entire community is invited to celebrate the completion of the new Alive & Free mural created by local artist Richard Muro Salazar.

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Artist Richard Muro Salazar

Photo credit: Richmond Pulse

The mural uses text and bold imagery to communicate the philosophy and principles of Alive and Free, a Bay Area-based organization working to foster positive lifestyle choices and address social issues that promote violence. Alive and Free Operations Manager, Andre Aikins, collaborated with Salazar to develop the theme for the mural which was selected by the City of Richmond Arts & Culture Commission to receive a Neighborhood Public Art mini-grant. Salazar–a native of Richmond–is also the creator of many public art pieces throughout his hometown, including the Downtown Macdonald Avenue street banners and murals along the Richmond Greenway.

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Using art to beautify the corner of Harbour Way & Macdonald Avenue.

Photo credit: Richmond Standard

The arts are an important revitalization tool for expanding RMSI’s community engagement efforts. Art draws people to places and positive images can evoke positive thoughts. This mural is a perfect example of how artistic mediums play a vital role in active urban life by illustrating a community’s cultural diversity and traditions, and by attracting visitors who patronize local establishments.

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The self-guided art walk will feature art installations in Downtown, like the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts’ interactive display.

Photo credit: Ellen Gailing

RMSI invites the public to come Downtown to the Community Green Space park at Macdonald Avenue and Harbour Way on Thursday, May 8, from 4-7pm, to meet the artist and celebrate his work.

Guests at Alive & Free: Murals on Macdonald will experience art throughout Downtown via a self-guided walking tour which will include projects near the Kaiser parking lot on 8th Street and Macdonald Avenue, the Richmond BART Station, and other sites throughout the corridor. The event will also include music, wine, food and artists vendors, and free bike parking courtesy of Rich City Rides.

For more information please call (510) 236-4049 or visit www.richmondmainstreet.org.

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A girl helps the artist complete the mural.

Photo credit: Najari Smith

All photos courtesy of Richmond Main Street Initiative

About the Richmond Main Street Initiative:

Richmond Main Street Initiative is a community based non-profit dedicated to revitalizing historic downtown Richmond. RMSI partners with the City of Richmond, merchants, and residents to develop and improve Downtown Richmond as a pedestrian-friendly urban village that offers products, services, arts and entertainment that reflect the community’s rich and diverse heritage. RMSI manages the Downtown Richmond Property Business Improvement District (DRPBID), which encompasses the core of the Historic Downtown area along the Macdonald Avenue corridor bounded approximately by 6th Street, Barrett Avenue, Harbour Way, and 16th Street. For more information and to read about the RMSI’s multi-faceted revitalization program, please visit www.richmondmainstreet.org and www.facebook.com/richmondmainstreet.

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