Mural unveiled in Montgomery during Embrace Alabama Kids Week
In conjunction with Governor Kay Ivey’s proclaimed Embrace Alabama Kids Week, a new mural was unveiled this week in downtown Montgomery.
Embrace Alabama Kids, a 501(c)(3) faith-based agency based in the state’s capital city, commissioned the project and joined Mayor Steven Reed, city officials and local artists at an unveiling on Wednesday.
The mural, located at 420 Clay St. adjacent to the Nat King Cole mural, is dedicated to shining a light on critical issues facing Alabama’s vulnerable children.
“The City of Montgomery is proud to partner with Embrace Alabama Kids and our visionary artists on this meaningful project to help raise awareness of Alabama’s children who suffer from abuse, neglect and abandonment,” stated Reed. “The mural enhances Montgomery’s vibrant and growing downtown by transforming what was once a vacant building into a colorful, diverse and symbolic celebration of Alabama’s children and families.”
Founded in 1890, Embrace Alabama Kids is a ministry of the United Methodist Children’s Home headquartered in Montgomery. The mural is meant to mark a new chapter in the organization’s mission to serve vulnerable children, youth and families through providing homes, healing and hope.
“What started as one orphanage in Selma back in 1890 has grown into a vast network of many programs and many locations across Alabama and Northwest Florida,” explained Embrace Alabama Kids president and CEO Blake Horne. “We feel confident this new chapter of our organization will help us expand our impact and develop lasting partnerships like we see today with the City of Montgomery and our talented artists.”
Local artists and entrepreneurs from The King’s Canvas and 21 Dreams, including lead muralist Nathaniel Allen, collaborated on the mural installation on a downtown building owned by Kyser Property Management.
Volunteers from the Beta Upsilon Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. were also reportedly instrumental in supporting the artists to help complete the project. The permanent mural was revealed alongside a unique traveling mural created by artists and community volunteers in Mobile, Tuscaloosa and Birmingham to help further raise awareness of Embrace Alabama Kids Week throughout the state.
Embrace Alabama Kids Week continues with a message from the Mayors of Birmingham, Tuscaloosa and Mobile. We appreciate @randallwoodfin, @WaltMaddox and @SandyStimpson for their support. In recognition of this week, let’s raise $28,000 in support of kids: https://t.co/9qSejRlQoM. pic.twitter.com/ghR3HP6OJC
— Embrace Alabama Kids (@embracealkids) April 16, 2021
Each year, more than 28,000 incidents of child abuse, neglect and abandonment are reported to the Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR). During National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April, Embrace Alabama Kids encourages communities across the state to come together to help break this vicious cycle.
“Alabama’s children experience hardships no child should have to face,” concluded Horne. “We can’t change the wrongs our children have experienced in the past, but through our ministry we can help change the trajectory of their future by providing homes, healing and hope.”
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn