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Muscatine Prevent Violence Coalition spreading kindness through downtown mural

Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 6:26 PM CDT
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MUSCATINE, Iowa (KWQC) - There’s more color on the walls of Muscatine after a collaboration with the Muscatine Prevent Violence Coalition and local artist, Johan Umana. A new mural promoting kindness is now finished on the side of Pearl City Tattoo Lounge.

“We wanted something that was a little more sustainable, we wanted something that was big. The whole community can enjoy it. It’s interactive,” says Shawn Lucas with the Muscatine Prevent Violence Coalition.

The mural features a chalkboard balloon that locals can write their own message on and snap a picture with using the hashtag, #NiceIsTheNewCool. The mural is three stories tall.

“It needs to be big, the message is big. Let’s promote inclusion, let’s promote diversity,” Lucas says.

“We wanted to do something that brings kindness to the community because nowadays we have seen a lot of violence in the streets. Hopefully we can communicate that we are looking right now for kindness and community. We want to bring joy to the community and have people embrace that message,” Johan Umana says, the artist behind the mural.

The street art joins a handful of others downtown. Business owners say they hope the artwork helps attract tourism and gets more people inside the doors of businesses.

“We really want people to come to the downtown shops and and have another reason to come to the downtown area and support all the area businesses. I hope it just spreads fun and entertainment and brings people to the downtown area and maybe makes people think twice about spreading kindness and joy around town,” Samantha Kaufmann says, owner of Pearl City Tattoo Lounge.

“It’s just a nice, hopeful, wonderful message and that’s what I hope they see Muscatine as. Maybe we can be trendsetters,” Lucas says.

The new mural is located at the intersection of Cedar and Second Street in downtown Muscatine.

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