Mayor Williams Joins Chief Dunning and Students to Present Mural Paintings for Vacant Buildings in Downtown Wilmington

Posted on  12/18/2013 6:27 pm

Photo of Vacant Storefront Mural Project Press Conference

Mayor Dennis P. Williams and Chief Christine Dunning joined members of the downtown business community and local schools to unveil new murals displayed in the window of a vacant storefront in downtown Wilmington.

For the past month, students at Bancroft Elementary, Stubbs Elementary, and Kuumba Academy painted several 9 foot by 5 foot mural sections that will be placed in the storefronts of a vacant building on located Market Street. Based on the concept of crime prevention through environmental design, the murals represent a cooperative effort between the police department, downtown business community, and neighboring schools.

“This mural project is a great example of the positive impact we can have on the community when the business community, schools and police work together,” said Mayor Williams. “These murals will not only beautify downtown but also work to strengthen ties within the community.”

The mural project was spearheaded by Master Corporal Malcolm Stoddard, a 13 year veteran of the department and newly assigned patrolman to the downtown business district. Master Corporal Stoddard looked for ways to improve downtown, and identified a vacant building in the 800 block of Market Street and worked to coordinate a community effort to create and install murals in the storefront. Murals have successfully been used around the county to improve quality of life and deter crime by improving a community’s physical environment.

“Building strong neighborhoods starts with creating successful relationships amongst the community. These murals were a community project organized and led by the police department, enthusiastically supported by the business community, and beautifully painted by students from our local schools,” said Chief Dunning.

The Wilmington Police Department provided funding for the project and Jerry’s Artarama generously donated art supplies. Master Corporal Stoddard then invited schools located near the downtown neighborhood to participate in the project by asking students to create different murals to display in the storefront.