Atlanta is taking a unique approach to showcasing its history for the thousands of fans who will descend on the city for Super Bowl 53. WonderRoot, an arts and advocacy group, teamed up with the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee to spearhead the Off the Wall initiative. Through murals, media, and community conversations, Off the Wall shares elements of Atlanta’s civil rights and social justice journey, elevating key stories and ideas present in the city’s pursuit of civil rights, human rights and a more equitable future for Atlanta residents.
The most visual part of the initiative are the murals that are on display in various neighborhoods in Atlanta. Over the summer of 2018, WonderRoot hosted 43 community conversations with over 1,000 participants to inform the mural designs. Eleven participating artists from the local area were chosen to create mural designs based on the community conversations. They were also selected because their previous works have aligned with the mission and intent of Off the Wall.
The artists created more than 30 public murals that have been installed across the city leading up to Super Bowl. WonderRoot facilitated multiple feedback sessions, inviting residents of the neighborhoods where murals were installed to comment on the design concepts. Following the game, they’ll become part of the City of Atlanta’s permanent collection and will be maintained by the city.
According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Chris Appleton, executive director of WonderRoot said the following about the initiative: “We started asking the question: How will the stories of the communities be told during the Super Bowl? We started pulling on that thread: Atlanta’s legacy relationship to the civil rights movement. We had a desire to shine a spotlight on Atlanta as a beacon for hope and change.”
WonderRoot will release a mobile experience app so that Atlanta residents and Super Bowl visitors will be able to find and see all of the murals. The app will also provide information about the artists and context about the pieces.
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