Waterloo Mural Inspires Reflection Of Civil Rights

Jun 3, 2019

A 3,000 square foot river wall mural in downtown Waterloo is now complete. It is meant to encourage discussion about the city's civil rights era.
Credit Courtesy of Youth Art Team

One hundred fifty student artists from Waterloo and Cedar Falls have designed and painted a 3,000 square foot mural along the Cedar River.

Youth Art Team Director Heidi Fuchtman said the mural commemorates Waterloo’s civil rights history. The students conducted interviews of about a dozen local people. Student artists and volunteers together put in more than two thousand hours before anyone lifted a paintbrush. 

“The relationships that I think were built and the conversations with people of all ages and with each other, we’re looking back at a time in our history, but it applies to the young artists now and it gives them a space to be part of the story moving forward,” said Fuchtman.

Ninth grader Ahmad Madlock  is one of the artists who conducted the interviews.

"The inspiration was definitely there, but then also the sense of pride that we were tasked with telling the story of our community I feel is very important and I feel like it’s a very big thing to try to do, but the fact that we were given this feat is very honorable” said Madlock.

Madlock’s classmate, Savannah Willard agrees.

“You think more about the people around you when you learn about them," she said. "It makes you feel more engaged."

A celebration event Tuesday afternoon will feature awards, live music and more painting.