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Black Lives Matter Road Mural Coming to Downtown Richmond

a conceptual rendering of the black lives matter mural on the road
The Black Lives Matter road mural is expected to be nearly 200 feet in length. (Proposed Rendering: Venture Richmond)

Richmond will soon join Washington, D.C., Seattle and a host of other cities across the country in painting “Black Lives Matter” on a roadway. 

The public art project proposed by the non-profit  Venture Richmond was approved unanimously by the city’s Planning Commission on Monday. The road mural will have “Black Lives Matter” painted in bright yellow letters near the Virginia State Capitol on East Grace Street. It’s expected to be nearly 200 feet in length and will take about five days to complete.

Anedra Bourne, deputy executive director of Venture Richmond, said she’s hoping the mural can keep the conversation around race and policing going.

“We don’t look at this as just a moment, but a continuing movement,” she said. “We’re really eager to be a partner in having these powerful conversations that are needed within our community.”

Bourne said that while Richmond has a complicated past with race, the mural can signify to those outside of the city that Richmond is ready to address it.

The mural project is being paid for by Venture Richmond with no city funds involved. The non-profit is best known for producing annual events like Friday Cheers, Dominion Energy Riverrock and the Richmond Folk Festival. 

The application for painting the mural on a public road was supported by the Downtown Neighborhood Association, the Martin Agency and City Councilwoman Ellen Robertson, who represents the district. 

Robertson said she supports the project because it symbolizes the actions Richmond City Council and Mayor Levar Stoney are taking on  police reform and racial equity.

“This is a great opportunity to move the agenda and I think the location is ideal,” Robertson said. “It is at the footstep of our legislative house for the state of Virginia.”

Local artists Hamilton Glass and Ed Trask will lead the design of the road mural. Venture Richmond is aiming to have it done by early next month, but is currently in the process of securing permits from the city's Department of Public Works. 

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