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A church in Yuma, Arizona, is getting in trouble with the local city government because of an innovative way to reach out to the local population, an art wall.

According to the Yuma Sun, Vertical Church has created an art wall that invites people to express themselves artistically, with the only requirement being that they not use profanity or gang images. Sounds like a great idea, no? Not so fast, says the city, since the wall goes counter to their own push to eliminate all graffiti  from the city regardless if it’s legal or not.

Jeremy Dillman, worship pastor for the church, explains the reason they think the art wall is important:

It’s all part of God’s work when we open up something for the community. It provides another opportunity for people to participate, like playing in the band or serving as greeters. These kids are doing this as art and we recognize their talent. We want to give them an area to do it legally  we don’t want them doing it illegally.

The full story here.

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Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.

One reply on “City Says It’s Graffiti, Church Says It’s Ministry”

  1. Community arts projects like this mural can produce many “benefical outcomes” for neighborhoods and cities. The NEA’s recent white paper on Creative Placemaking is an excellent summary of the latest thinking about how the public and private sector can work together to unlock the potential of the arts… lets hope that we can keep shifting the conversation:

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