New Racial Equity Mural to Honor East Hartford Women

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While many travel across the Founders Bridge between Hartford and East Hartford, it’s what’s happening underneath that could really move people.

“We’re hoping to bring some bright color to kind of a dark tunnel,” said Michael Rice, a local artist.

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Rice and another artist, Micaela Levesque, have been hard at work transforming a giant wall of an underpass on East River Drive in East Hartford.

They are putting the final touches on a mural that spans more than 2,000 square feet.

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“Our task was to honor East Hartford women and what’s important to me is it captures their personalities,” said Levesque.

Here you’ll spot a painting of Odessa Terry who brought emergency services to town.

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Next to her is Amisha Patel who grew up here and became a social justice leader.

Then there is former mayor Melody Currey who also served on the state level.

The next spot belongs to Rosa Cruz who grew up in Puerto Rico, lived in East Hartford for decades and whose family now operates a bakery to honor her legacy.

Finally, you’ll see Mary Johnson the town’s first Black elected official.

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“It’s kind of paying homage to local women of East Hartford that played a strong role in racial equity, diversity and inclusion over the last several decades,” said Rice.

This group of women is surrounded by images of Town Hall and the Bulkeley Bridge, along with bright flowers and doves.

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In town, you can find inspiration at the first Racial Equity mural over on Main Street and those behind this second one hope it also does the same for passers-by.

“I want them to feel enlightened driving by whether it’s their daily commute or going to the park, they can just enjoy a piece of creativity,” said Levesque.

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Several groups came together to make this happen including RiseUP for Arts and the Town of East Hartford.

The big reveal is slated for noon on Saturday.

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