The We’re Trying Collective and Muncie community will be painting a “love note” to the city of Muncie on the side of the Mark III Taproom this Saturday.
After the Pulse Nightclub shooting in 2016, Faith Kellermeyer, project manager for the Center for Emerging Media Design and Development at Ball State, was inspired to make a change.
“The city building in downtown Muncie was lit up in rainbow colored lights following the tragedy as a display of support for the LGBT community,” Kellermeyer said. “I remember thinking it was a really powerful visual, and wanting to create a more permanent symbol to show people that no matter your background, Muncie is a place where you can thrive and find a community to engage with.”
She contacted Jannell Summers, Braydee Euliss and JoAnna Darda to create the We’re Trying Collective that collaborated to set up On the Mark, For the City.
The group began fundraising in August of 2016 and were able to meet their ultimate goal of $10,000 through the support of the Muncie community.
“As far as fundraising, we wanted this project to be something that our community felt they had a hand in creating," Kellermeyer said. "A grassroots, community fundraising model just made the most sense to us.”
The support from the community that they received was much more than just donations of money, however. Although the amount of space and supplies limit volunteer spots to 30, about 45 people have volunteered. Artist Nathaniel Russell, a Ball State graduate, was asked by the collective to donate his time as well.
“We know not everyone is a painter, so it was important to us to provide a free educational opportunity to teach anyone interested in learning how to paint a mural," Kellermeyer said.
While Russell typically works on projects by himself, his connection to Muncie and appreciation for the project made him more than willing to lend a hand. He said that collaborations such as this “makes for a richer experience and can result in long-term friendships.”
This, in fact, is part of Kellermeyer’s goal for the May 13 event.
“I also hope that Saturday is an opportunity for people to connect with each other, to learn from one another, and to hopefully spawn even more positive creative energy that our community can benefit from in the future,” Kellermeyer said.
Those who have signed up to volunteer this weekend will be working in two different sessions and split up into two different groups. There will be a morning session that takes place from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and an afternoon session from 1 to 4 p.m. with a lunch from Thr3e Wise Men in-between.
There will be a group of “painting volunteers and non-painters,” that both play a vital role in the completion of this mural. While the design of the mural has been decided upon, Kellermeyer said that she prefers to wait to share it largely until it is finished and the community can celebrate it's completion together.