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Richmond Triangle Players Get Community Support After Mural Vandalism

A vandal defaced the rainbow mural in Scott's Addition on Aug. 19. (Roberto Roldan/VPM)
A vandal defaced the rainbow mural in Scott's Addition on Aug. 19. (Roberto Roldan/VPM)

Earlier this week, someone defaced a pro-LGBTQ mural painted on the intersection outside of the Richmond Triangle Players theatre. The theatre now says that, with an outpouring community support, they are planning to have the mural restored. 

Richmond Triangle Players executive director Philip Crosby was in the lobby earlier this week when someone began weaving in and out of the intersection just outside of the theatre.

“We saw very quickly he was purposely going in and carving donuts into the painting,” Crosby said. “We just stood with our mouths open. We were so in shock we didn’t even think to pull out our phones and take video until they were almost done.”

The incident left permanent marks across the large rainbow mural. It was designed by John McClellan and painted by muralist Andre Shank about a year ago. The mural needed to be approved by the Richmond Arts Commission and cost around $3,000 to $5,000.

Crosby said he doesn’t know what the motive of the person was, but said it’s obvious the mural was a celebration of the LGBTQ community.

“Whether or not it’s particularly a hate crime or whether it’s just schoolyard stuff, doesn’t really matter,” he said. “There’s so much hate out there for marginalized groups, we can’t let it happen.”

A spokesperson for Richmond Police Department said they are investigating the incident as reckless driving.

After reports of the vandalism hit the news and social media, Crosby said businesses in Scott’s Addition and other community members started reaching out. He hopes to get the mural restored with private donations within the next month.

“I think we can look forward to some sort of community-wide re-launching, re-celebration of this mural,” Crosby said. “Like a little phoenix, I think we are going to rise out of this and come out stronger and better.”

*Richmond Triangle Players is a sponsor of VPM. 

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