Marlborough teens create mural to bring positive change in community

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A new mural will be quite the site to see at the Marlborough Community Center.

Seventeen teenagers from Lee’s Summit and Kansas City, Missouri, spent weeks collaborating on painting a new mural, hoping to spark positive change in their communities.

“I mean this was one big blank wall a couple of months ago. Now it’s full of hope, it’s full of pride, it’s full of everything that a kid would want to see,” art teacher, Bonnye Brown said.

Bonnye Brown, director of the GIFT Art Program, says her group of young artists spent four months planning and working on the 30 foot mural.

“During this process, everyone got along like best friends,” Brown said. “If they weren’t friends when they started, they were friends when it ended.”

JaRay Wynn, 20, helped paint the mural and says he’s excited to see his vision at the community center he grew up in.

“I used to come in here a lot when I was a kid,” Wynn said. “And changing and helping out with the community is like kind of an awesome deal because I like to give back to my community.”

For 19-year-old Delshaun Johnson, who also helped paint the mural, says the work of art represents success.

"I've always wanted my art to inspire people in the community,” Johnson said.

Brown says it’s a community that represents many things, and wanted the focus to be on education.

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“Right in the front we decided to make the main characters just ordinary people, people just like you and I who just want to go to that next level,” Brown said. “We also want to change the stereotype of what's going on with our African American men in the community and around the country and maybe to make it to where everybody can be a part of America, not just a few people.”

Both Johnson and Wynn shared their favorite part of the mural.

“My favorite part about this mural would have to be the graduates, sitting right here,” Johnson said. “That's just the main part of the mural because we want people to feel like if they can graduate, then they can take the right road to success and other people can too.

For Wynn, it was the Royals painting.

“2015 champions last year, so it’s awesome,” Wynn said with excitement.

Wynn says it’s an amazing feeling to see the mural finally come together.

“It’s like change,” he said. “I changed something in the community that I’m proud of.”

There will be a formal unveiling of the mural Thursday evening from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Marlborough Community Center.

The event will also honor the young artists for their hard work.



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