Art North St. Louis Northside Regeneration

Northside Community Mural Proposal

by Anna Ialeggio

Dear Friends & Neighbors,

My name is Anna, and I live in the 5th ward. I have been following the McEagle developments with skepticism and trepidation. My frustration comes from the assumption that, in the name of progress, it’s all right to deny residents the right to participate in shaping their neighborhoods. I don’t believe that enough justification can ever exist to hand over the reins of half a city to a single private developing entity. Friends, we need to be honest with each other: this isn’t a choice that North City was given. This is a corner that North City was backed into. Now we’re in that corner, and we have to address the fact that development which doesn’t flow directly from the community will ever have the impact, dignity, or longevity that it ideally could. This is what worries me (quote from the Post-Dispatch 9/5/09, my emphasis):

Last month, the CBA held a meeting of its own, in a Cass Avenue church that’s on the eminent domain list. There were about 75 people there, most from the project area, for a talk about TIF and eminent domain and how to protect their rights.

At one point, the organizers asked for a show of hands: How many people had been in a room with Paul McKee? Had heard his plans from his own mouth? HAD BEEN ABLE TO ASK QUESTIONS?

Three hands went up.

This is a challenge that we can rise to. I’d like to help my neighbors ask questions, make suggestions, tell their stories, in such a way that nobody, least of all Paul McKee, can dismiss it. This is where the idea of a mural comes in. I’ve got an awful lot of paint, and somebody out there has a big wall that could be dressed up. We’ve all got something to say, and we can work together to help each other figure out what it is and how best to say it. This might be especially great for a community center, church, or school. We can make something that will be a testimonial to the determination and creativity of our neighborhoods. Everyone has a right to be a part of the future of where they live…

Developers build DEVELOPMENTS.
Communities build COMMUNITIES!

Please get in touch if you’re interested, or have a suitable wall.

anna.ialeggio -at-