Progress update: White Cloud Community Mural

Called to Walls Documentary Screening & First Community Meeting

Our team screened Called to Walls, a documentary about the making of four community murals in the Midwest, followed by a Q&A with Dave Loewenstein, the muralist featured in the film and the film makers, Amber Hansen and Nicholas Ward. We held the event at the Ogden Building on the Ioway Tribe Reservation. It was well attended and tribal leadership including our Chairman and Vice-Chairman were present!

The documentary exposes a behind-the-scene look at the mural making process and helped everyone understand what we are trying to do and accomplish with our own community mural in White Cloud, KS. The heart warming stories told throughout the film left us in awe and inspired.

During the Q&A we were able to ask more in-depth questions about the process and preparation work. We talked over some of the difficulties and compromises and their experiences overcoming them. We were given encouragement and advice as a group and left with an invitation to reach out with any and all questions as we progress in the process. After such an incredibly long winter, we are finally making arrangements to bring Dave back to White Cloud for an on-site consultation meeting with our team!

We began our first meeting by listening to each member of our group share something about White Cloud. We laughed, learned, and reminisced of old times together. We heard stories of the old days and plans for the new like updates on Dr. Bryan’s restoration work in downtown White Cloud. We discussed the land, the river, steamboats, Lewis and Clark, treaties, the Platte Purchase, the piggy bank and Paper Moon.

We learned lesser known history about the African American presence in the area including interpreter Jeffrey Deroin, the underground railroad, and the fact that the building our mural will be painted on was once the black church in town.

We discussed some ideas for the mural and before the meeting ended passed out a survey gathering more information about style and subject matter preferences. Overall, we have a better understanding about what the community would like to see memorialized in our mural. Our next steps are to get the word out about our mural, gather more input, and have our first design team meeting.

We can’t wait!


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