Community voices strong support for Frisco’s Black Lives Matter mural
FRISCO — Residents from around Summit County and beyond tuned in to the virtual Frisco Town Council meeting Tuesday night to voice support for the town’s Black Lives Matter mural painted on Main Street and to thank town officials for their ongoing efforts to support community dialogue surrounding race and equality.
On July 13, a group of community members and artists from around the county and state began installing the mural on Main Street in front of Frisco Town Hall, spelling out “Black Lives Matter” over about 36 hours of work.
During the council meeting earlier this week, the outpouring of public support was considerable.
“I believe this movement is bringing awareness to the injustices that permeate our society and bringing voices to the table that have been marginalized for hundreds of years,” said Consuelo Redhorse, director of the Summit School District Board of Education. “… This movement is not a political one but one based on love, understanding, knowledge, support and knowing we need to do better. (The town council) is in a unique and strong position to stand up for what’s right and just, and I believe you are doing just that.”
Almost 150 individuals logged in to the Zoom call to watch the council meeting — a significant bump from a typical session — and more than 25 people spoke out about the mural and provided insights into what it meant to them.
Shannon Galpin, a local street artist and activist who spearheaded the mural, gathered outside Town Hall with a crowd of dozens cheering on the town’s effort.
“We’re so grateful that you have stood in support of Black Lives Matter, that you have stood up for everyone in this town that has not had a voice, that you are saying that we will stand in solidarity with the movement,” Galpin said. “… You have made such a public statement. Everyone is here today to say ‘thank you’ and that ‘we’re with you.’”
Others pointed to the mural as an opportunity to help educate the community’s youth population and to make young people of color feel more welcome in the area.
“Most of the families I serve as a counselor for are Latino families, and a lot of their children do have a feeling of not belonging, of not being where they should be in school and sports and other things,” said Gloria Quintero, who works with the county’s Strengthening Families Outreach program in addition to serving on the school board. “I think this is a great move in the right direction for our children to start feeling welcome.”
There were a couple of individuals who spoke out against the mural, saying that it’s not the place of the Town Council to take stances on the issue.
“I believe that you were to take care of the residents, make sure the streets were safe and in good repair, and to do big projects like the marina that is beautiful and enjoyed by so many people of lots of races,” said Barb Cole, a longtime Summit County resident who suggested the mural be met with a “God bless America” painting across town. “I don’t know that your job is to make a political statement because it might not agree with everyone in the community.”
But the overwhelming sentiment among individuals who spoke was that the mural was an important representation of the town’s goals and values of creating an inclusive community.
“In the outdoor industry, people of color don’t specifically feel welcome,” said Elisa Gomez, a local artist. “I think putting this mural in a mountain town is a great step toward making that inclusivity happen and making everyone feel welcome. … It’s a beautiful mural, and I think it’s great to use public art as a means of educating everybody around you, standing up for what you believe in and sending a strong message.”
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