Local artists to paint mural on Broadway Street

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - The Sofia Quintero Art and Cultural Center said its latest effort is not a typical neighborhood beautification project. Organizers are gathering people in the community to paint a mural on Broadway Street in south Toledo.

Organizers said the project mixes the old with the new. They say they are expanding off the mural to improve the neighborhood and educate people about various Hispanic cultures.

"I was no great kid when I was small so I know exactly how it is to be out here on these streets and negative. So that's kind of the reason why I get involved," explained Jose Martinez, a local artist.

Martinez will help paint the mural on Broadway. He and other local artists believe it is the best way to improve neighborhoods by getting young people involved in something positive.

"It's not only making a mural, but I think it's to kind of motivate our kids and it's to help them dream, I mean, helping them. That it's important to do something for other people," said local artist Ricardo Quinonez-Aleman.

Monday is day one of the Broadway corridor mural project. Local artists are collaborating with Bowling Green State University art students to paint a mural with a Latino theme. Something they said will represent the neighborhood.

Organizers said the project is not limited to artists.

"If people are driving by and they want to stop, they're welcome to come by and pick up a paintbrush and follow the leads of the artists," said Maria Rodriguez-Winter with the Sofia Quintero Art and Cultural Center.

Organizers said the process will take about two weeks. The mural will be painted on five local business buildings.

"It shows that the businesses really care about the neighborhood. It's not just people investing the neighborhood and leaving, but really just staying here and wanting to make sure that we all work together and beautify it together," explained Rodriguez-Winter.

Rodriguez-Winter hopes the project will inspire a sense of community that goes beyond the neighborhood.

Copyright 2012 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.