The new “Shine Together” mural--by the BElite youth artists collective--will be unveiled this Saturday, August 20, 10AM-12PM on the Lafitte Greenway basketball court. This project is led by community leader, Jalen Gray, in partnership with Friends of Lafitte Greenway and the New Orleans Recreation Development (NORD) Commission.
“Shine Together” Unveiling & Community Opening Celebration:
Saturday, August 20, 10AM - 12PM
Lafitte Greenway Basketball Court at Lemann Playground
1971 St. Louis Street
- 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM - Unveiling & Ribbon Cutting
- 10:45 AM - 12:00 PM - Youth Basketball Clinic with Jaxson Hayes
(Pre-Registration is required! Priority is given to neighborhood youth. Contact NORD to register: [email protected], 504.236.2094)
- Community Celebration: Bounce Houses, Snowballs, Concessions, music by DJ Antwigadee, coffee by HEY Coffee Co., beignets by Cafe De Monde
The Greenway youth-led basketball court mural project was made possible with support from Sneaker Politics, Jaxson Hayes, United Way of Southeast Louisiana, Baptist Community Ministries, the Brees Dream Foundation, and Neel Choudhury.
Shine Together explores the bold and rich spirit of New Orleans youth, with the bright colors representing their liveliness. The hands symbolize the togetherness we share as a community. BElite hopes this mural radiates the light and energy that connects our city, and helps us continue to Shine Together.
In early 2020, Community member, Jalen Gray, proposed to Friends of Lafitte Greenway (Friends) and the New Orleans Recreation Development (NORD) Commission an idea to paint a surface mural on the Lafitte Greenway basketball court. A former Loyola University basketball player and enthusiast, Jalen was inspired to bring public art to activate the Greenway court. He has spearheaded the project as a passionate volunteer--bringing together resources and partners to realize this transformation.
BElite is a youth-led art collective consisting of Black New Orleans artists ranging from ages 15-21. BElite’s work is rooted in providing opportunities for young Black creatives in New Orleans to gain experience on producing and managing artistic projects. BElite is the youth-led arm of the non profit organization Eternal Seeds. Projects artists on the Shine Together mural BElite youth artists include Camron Irvin, Astrid Sims, Carter Marberry, Miracle McKinnies, Miya Scaggs, Feyu Diallo, Anne-Marie Bossman, Haywood St. Cyr, Kerry Santa Cruze, Azure Muhammad, Ryan McCray-Smith. About BElite and Eternal Seeds.
The Lafitte Greenway’s Basketball Court:
This project is located at the basketball court at the hub of Greenway sports and youth recreation programming. Nearby recreation facilities include NORD’s Greenway Clubhouse (opened in 2020), a field for football and soccer clubs, a playground, baseball field, outdoor fitness gym, and public pool. This site includes concessions and bathrooms for the public--an all-around recreational space for the community.
Pictured: “Shine Together” mural installation in progress
Photo by Sarah Kehoe @accidentallysarahk
Pictured: BElite artists and Jalen Gray during mural installation
FROM THE PROJECT PARTNERS
“It’s been an amazing experience working to bring this idea to life. Teamwork has been on full display from everyone involved in this project and we can’t wait to share it with the community,” says Jalen Gray, Volunteer Project Leader
“Working on this project has honestly been so fun and I am extremely excited to be a part of creating something beautiful and bright for our community. It’s really important to show our people that we care for them, especially during these times, and it’s an honor to be able to bring a little light to the Lafitte Greenway through art.” - Astrid Sims, BElite Artist
“Community members dreamed it. Young artists led it. And an amazing team came together to support it. Young folks have taken ownership of this vibrant space and made it their own--adding art, color, care, and inspiration. We are so grateful to the team making this joyous project possible the project possible,” said Sophie Harris Vorhoff, Executive Director, Friends of Lafitte Greenway
“BElite Collective is the type of youth-led programming, training, and mentorship opportunity the City of New Orleans needs more of," said Larry Barabino, Jr., NORD CEO. "NORD is pleased to partner with Belite, Jalen Gray, Friends of Lafitte Greenway, and the artist involved in this mural project to bring approved public artwork to this community court. We look forward to the mural unveiling and court reopening this weekend."
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