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Vibrant new mural in Midtown honors teachers

kc loves teachers
Posted at 5:55 AM, Jun 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-04 09:11:12-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Whether you're walking by, driving past or seeing the bold and vibrant new mural near 31st and Cherry from above, you can't help but stop and take a picture.

The new mural honors Kansas City teachers, who have adjusted a great deal during this pandemic to educate their students and create a sense of normalcy for their students families.

It's a collaboration with SchoolSmart Kansas City and muralist, JT Daniels.

"The people we become are because of our teachers," Daniels said.

Students also took part in the process, sharing their ideas. Jaquez Jackson was one of them.

"It's just amazing to see like a few of my ideas come together and form this incredible mural that JT's been working on," Jackson said.

Jackson is an artist himself. He thanks his teachers who have encouraged him along the way.

One of Jackson's former teachers, who made a big impact on his life, is now replicated on the new mural.

"He sort of inspired me to keep going, to grit it out," Jackson said. "The word grit on that coach was inspired by that. He was just an amazing influence . Without him, I wouldn't be the person I am today."

As Daniels finishes up the piece, there's no gray area in what he wants to accomplish. The muralist comes from a family of educators, including his wife who was a former educator. He also reflects on teachers who inspired him.

"I have a lot of teachers I appreciate from high school and I get to talk to them now in my 30s like, 'hey, I really do appreciate you guys,' Daniels said. "I wouldn't be on this path without you guys."

It's a path Daniels highlights on his mural.

"I'll have some kids at the top graduating and I'm going have some other elements like ABCs, 1,2,3s, stuff like that" Daniels said. "I really wanted to put these stoic figures, like these are the teachers hovering over your shoulders. These are the teachers that are trying to coach you."

Whether you're up close or even a mile away, the message is simple: KC Loves Teachers.

"Teachers are one of the most important people to ever be on this Earth," Jackson said.

"This is the community saying we love you and we appreciate you," Daniels said.

If you do see the mural and take pictures, it's encouraged to use the hashtag: #KClovesteachers.

During the pandemic, 41 Action News wants to spotlight people, organizations and companies helping the community. To share these stories, use #WeSeeYouKSHB on social media.