The Freedom Wall on the city’s near East Side has come to stand for many things, including peace, humanity, acceptance… and unfettered freedom. As Martin Luther King Jr. Day approaches, this wall is a reminder of the dream that the resolute humanitarian once shared with the world.
Unfortunately, the Freedom Wall has seen better days, as there are now concerns about its integrity, including exposed rebar, insufficient lighting and landscaping, rampant littering, and safety concerns.
To address those concerns, The Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor Commission (MSAAHCC) and The East Side Garden Walk (ESGW) will be hosting a series of ‘Freedom Wall Stakeholders Meetings.’ The two groups are encouraging members of the public and nearby residents to attend the virtual meetings, in order to better understand and address the scope of the project, and to formulate a community vision for a new Freedom Wall streetscape.
“The Freedom Wall depicts the icons of the black community. As a piece it speaks to the history of struggle and perseverance of the black community. This artwork matters. The surrounding streetscape should reflect that.” – Freedom Wall stakeholders
The public is invited to discuss ideas for improvement such as gardens and lighting. Broad representation from community groups, local officials, the original artists, and the organizations involved in its original inception is encouraged.
Dates for the next stakeholders meetings are:
- January 21, 2021 4:30 PM via Zoom
- March 11, 2021 4:30 PM via Zoom
- April 8, 2021 4:30 PM via Zoom
Interested parties can register here or at www.michiganstreetbuffalo.org/freedom-wall to be added to the stakeholders meeting list and receive the Zoom invitation.
Learn more about the Freedom Wallby artists John Baker, Julia Bottoms, Chuck Tingley, and Edreys Wajed, commissioned by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Public Art Initiative in partnership with the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, 2017