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Community comes together to repair mural in Waterloo

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In June of 2019, the youth art team at the Waterloo Center for the Arts and local elementary school students worked together to create the “Our Freedom Story” mural that can been seen along the Cedar River banks.

The mural tells the story of Waterloo’s past.

“Take all of that energy, all the negative . They put it into words and how we kind of take colors and images in and kind of describe the pain but also the transition through the pain of a particular time. And in some respects, paint a brighter future,” said curator, Chaune Paige.

Over the weekend, the mural was vandalized.

“Obviously when you see something that all the kids made such a strong effort to to get done and it’s a great statement it’s a great part of the downtown landscape, just disappointment,” said development and marketing manager, Craig Laue.

The staff and artist were upset to come out and see the graffiti. Those feelings were quickly turned positive when the community stepped up to help repair the damage.

“A lot of these people were apart of it from the beginning and they really love this mural and want to see it continue to look it’s best after the unfortunate graffiti that happened over the weekend,” said Laue.

Residents young and old grabbed a paint brush to bring the mural back to its original beauty.

“It just speaks at the love and value of this particular art work and the healing that it has potential to do,” said Paige.

Because of the abundance of volunteers, all the work was completed Friday afternoon. Paige hopes that the community can create a space for graffiti so everyone has a place to express their art in Waterloo.

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