Sunday, April 26th 2015, was the culmination of our first #drivebyart installation. After our kickoff event last Friday, Cocomocha was ready to splash the streets with color. With a van full of art, the entourage arrived at 78th & Exchange, a Chicago's Southeast side neighborhood. What looked like an ordinary Sunday afternoon, quickly turned into a moment in time that drew bystanders and community members to walk up and admire what was happening.
Our most challenged communities are suffering from violence, drugs and lack of resources. These issues turn into disruptive behaviors that end up causing trauma in everyone who's ever experienced them. Fear takes over and it becomes a brutal reality that subconsciously everyone learns to live with. The idea that things cannot and will not change becomes the daily mantra. Dodging bullets and hiding behind shades is the only reasonable thing to do. Violence is often seen as an issue of a specific neighborhood or culture, but in contrary, it spreads quickly and uncontrollably throughout entire cities.
Cocomocha showed up with the purpose of impacting anyone who lives, works, plays walks and drives by the area. Our mission is to remind everyone that together we are stronger, that every single person deserves to walk by and feel safe. Many neighbors who walked by simply said, "This is great, God bless!" One person in particular walked by repeating, "I like! I like! I like"
As the installation progressed, more people drove by and honked as sign of support. The energy was vibrant and reflective of the art that had made its way across the empty abandoned wall. Cocomocha successfully completed its first largest installation of #drivebyart and as we wrapped the evening, we saw people pulling to the side to take pictures and record. A mother and son were seen reading and admiring the messages.
"One cannot fight for peace. The only way to create peace is to be peaceful."-Deepak Chopra