COLUMBUS, Ohio — “We have the power to create these positive messages, and these images that will, like I said, just kind of spread hope,” says Columbus mural artist Francesca Miller. 

Columbus mural artist Francesca Miller says art and its message does matter in this time of great divisiveness.

What You Need To Know

  • Shattered glass, graffiti and boarded-up businesses is an all too familiar sight in downtown Columbus these days, but CAPA is out to change that

  • The historic landmark Ohio Theatre was looted over the weekend, but art enthusiasts are creating murals and looking to unite others during these divisive times

  • Ohio Theatre, which was once Columbus’ City Hall, has had $25,000 in damages to its exterior, and because of COVID-19, there's no word on when the theatre may open

Miller and artist Richard Duarte Brown are painting mural images that speak to a poem she created. 

“I was just kind of meditating on the beauty of black people. So this poem came out of that. Your skin, brown like the earth, your heart, a priceless piece of gold. God has hidden treasure in your chest. And is revealing to the world your worth.” 

“The end goal of all of this is for the kids to become, you know a safe place where they can live and be happy and not be fearful of their lives because of the color of their skin,” said Duarte Brown. 

The Columbus Association for the Performing Arts and the Greater Columbus Arts Council have combined forces on #ArtUnitesCbus. 

On this day they're creating murals outside the historic Ohio Theatre, closed because of COVID-19 and just one of the numerous downtown Columbus businesses looted over the last week to the tune of $25,000. 

President and CEO of CAPA Chad Whittington says although the damage is heartbreaking to this pillar of the community, he realizes there are bigger issues at play

“The inequality, the injustice that has really been a part of things for too long, we know that needs to change,” said Whittington. 

So Whittington reached out to local artists impacted by the downturn in the economy brought on by COVID-19 and recent civil unrest. 

“So we thought, why don't we work with some artists, put some great artwork up, provide a spot of hope despite what's going on downtown. Also provide some much needed income to our local artists,” said Whittington. 

For Miller, she hopes her message resonates with those passerby and that we all take the time to look at ourselves in the mirror and self-reflect. 

“You've experienced a lot of negative things, because of, you know the color of your skin. But the eyes of the world is being open to your beauty, to the treasure that it goes deeper than, you know, what's on the outside,” said Miller.