An NPR member station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

New mural to celebrate East Central neighborhood, community history

This weekend, community groups in Spokane will unveil a new mural that tells the story of East Central, the city’s historically Black neighborhood.

The mural, painted on the side of the Carl Maxey Center, showcases generations of residents and their stories.

Ginger Ewing is co-founder and executive director of arts organization Terrain, which has led efforts to create the mural. She said the project showcases many East Central Neighborhood landmarks from past and present.

“We have Fresh Soul, we have SERA, you have Larry the Barber Shop, so kind of these iconic places of the neighborhood,” Ewing said. “Similarly, if you look over there, you see Black Wall Street, and that was actually a vision that Sandy Williams had for the neighborhood, and that's kind of the future hopes and dreams.”

Williams, the founder of the Carl Maxey Center, was killed last year in a plane crash. The mural includes several tributes to her, such as her favorite color, purple and an image of her reading the newspaper she published, The Black Lens.

In addition to the mural itself, the project contains a technology component developed by a team of organizations partnering with Terrain and the Carl Maxey Center.

“We're starting off with 20 different people’s stories,” Ewing said. “The hope is that it will grow from there. But what you'll be able to do is hold up your camera to that person's photo and their story will come up, and you'll be able to listen to it as your standing in front of the mural. In parallel to that, we have a standalone website that you can go and learn more about the history, the past and the future hopes of the neighborhood.”

The mural will be unveiled during a celebration Saturday at noon at the Carl Maxey Center.