You may have seen or heard that our community mural, “On the Mark, For the City” was one of several downtown locations targeted by a vandalism spree last night.
Because the mural on the side of the Mark III Taproom wasn’t the only location that was vandalized, we assume that this wasn’t a homophobic or hate-fueled crime. The vandals may not have known or even realized that they were defacing a community-funded project created to show visible support for the victims of the Orlando Pulse shooting and the entire LGBTQ community.
When we put together the budget for our project back in 2016, we built in a maintenance fund. We knew that our girl would need some upkeep eventually due to harsh weather and the ravages of time. We also knew that vandalism was a very real possibility, even though we hoped that no one would target a piece of art that so many members of our community had poured their love and energy into.
We will be using those maintenance funds to fix the areas impacted by this vandalism. Any solvent that would remove graffiti would, unfortunately, also remove the paint underneath it so we will be doing some research on the most appropriate method for cleaning and touching up the affected areas. For those who would like to help with cleanup efforts, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can keep you in the loop.
We are grateful that this vandalism doesn’t appear to be a result of hate toward the LGBTQ community, but having a beloved safe space defaced reminds us of how frequently the LGBTQ community is the target of hate crimes. If you have the means, consider making a donation to Muncie OUTreach, the Victory Fund, or the Human Rights Campaign.
Additionally, this incident is a good reminder that while a maintenance fund may not be the most exciting or flashy part of a public art piece, it’s necessary. If you'd like to help Muncie create and maintain public art projects, consider making a donation to the Muncie Arts & Culture Council's fund for public art (scroll to the bottom of the page for the link to that particular fund).
Finally, thank you all for being so protective and loving to this piece of art. We’re grateful to have created something toward which our community feels a sense of ownership and protectiveness, and we hope to get the mural back to looking bright and welcoming to everyone who comes across it as soon as possible.