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A History and Possible Future of the Incredible Crenshaw Wall

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Near Crenshaw and Fiftieth Street in Hyde Park extends an approximately 800-foot mural called the Crenshaw Wall (or sometimes the Great Wall of Crenshaw), painted in 2000 by a graffiti collective called Rocking The Nation. More than a decade of exposure to the elements has taken its toll on the extensive art piece, though, and so the original RTN artists are looking to raise money to fund not only a much-needed restoration, but also some forward-looking preservation: a video for the undertaking (below) explains that RTN is hoping to have the Wall declared an official city historic-cultural monument, put up a bronze commemorative plaque, and develop an app that will allow for self-guided tours of the mural. Though this wall has been the site of murals and graffiti art celebrating black culture and social commentary since at least the 1960s (as well as some killer early hip-hop photo shoots), the current mural, titled "Our Mighty Contribution," is the largest-scale project the wall has seen, according to the restoration project's website: it incorporates images and icons from black history across the ages, including "Fredrick Douglas, Harriet Tubman, The Black Panther Party, Jimi Hendrix, Louis Armstrong, Marcus Garvey, African-American [Soldiers], Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, The Sphinx, Timbuktu, Slavery, Street Dancers, [and] Dizzy Gilespie."

· Crenshaw Wall Restoration Project [Official Site]