Music Changing Lives is taking control of the narrative by leading a “Spread Paint, Not Hate” initiative across San Bernardino County, in response to the social injustices nationwide.
After the worldwide protests against police brutality was brought to San Bernardino and resulted in looting, Music Changing Lives Founder Josiah Bruny strategized a method to raise the community’s voice through art; to mitigate any protest backlash and to divert energy into an initiative that could bring real change to the country.
“Together, Music Changing Lives, Viva La Boba, local artists Ana Cervantes and Duan Kellum, mainstream artist Christopher Perez and many volunteers painted a mural depicting social injustices in downtown San Bernardino, in an alleyway about 50 feet west of the Breezeway,” said Bruny.
“We were getting frustrated with the scenarios that we were in during the recent protests. There were in-fact peaceful protests and then participants were still getting hit with pepper spray and rubber bullets. So I knew we had to figure out a new route to get our voices heard and messages across,” continued Bruny.
The mural is dedicated to and features Tyisha Miller, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Tony McDade, all victims of police brutality.
It also features paintings of closed fists lifted high in the air in the colors black, brown, white, red, blue, yellow and green.
When walking through the San Bernardino Breezeway Arts, on the left visitors will notice a flower wall filled with an array of succulents and the 20-foot long mural located to the right, making for a great advocacy and photography space.
“This mural in San Bernardino sparked an entire initiative which transpired into the Know Justice Know Peace Mural Tour, which was the result of brainstorming with Viva La Boba owner David Friedman. Since June, we now have a total of four murals, which are located in San Bernardino near the Breezeway, there’s another in Rialto at the Mayor Robinson Community Center, and we painted the entire building at Quick Pick Liquor in Riverside,” Bruny said.
“We’re currently collaborating with Civil Rights Institute of Inland Southern California, as they’re painting a mural which is half a block long, it’s for John Luis on Mission Boulevard in Riverside,” continued Bruny.
Although professional painters are leading the murals, any constituent in the county interested in assisting with painting the forthcoming murals can do so.
“All you need to know is how to paint inside the lines and we could use your assistance; we provide the paint, paint brushes, gloves and safety masks. Volunteers will have the opportunity to learn the history of the murals and connect with other community members. We have a limited number of spaces to coincide with state regulated COVID-19 guidelines,” said Bruny.
Assemblymember Eloise Gomez Reyes and Rialto Mayor Deborah Robertson also assisted with the execution of the murals by offering their network and resources.
“The completion of these murals was like a dream come true. People received the opportunity to come out, express themselves and have real dialogue with one another. There was multicultural generations expressing themselves from ages five to 92 years old discussing people losing their lives insensibly and it has sparked other organizations to create murals across their towns to revitalize their own communities,” concluded Bruny.
Those interested in making a donation or volunteering at an upcoming event, visit musicchanginglives.org for more information.