Jun 15, 2023
Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) and the Union-Miles Development Corporation (UMDC) have collaborated on a special project in the Union-Miles neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio. The two organizations have come together to install new shelter wraps on six bus shelters in the area, each highlighting a prominent African American leader in history, all while carrying the powerful symbolism of community unity. The shelter wrap art was created by local artist, Mr. Soul. These bus shelters are each adorned with colorful art wraps of seven African American leaders.
The featured leaders include:
- Harriet Tubman: E.131 St. at Harvard Avenue Northbound shelter
- Malcolm X: E.131 St. at Harvard Avenue Southbound shelter
- Carl Stokes & Louis Stokes: E.131 St. at Glendale Avenue Northbound shelter
- Fred Hampton: Miles Avenue at E.131 St. Westbound shelter
- Stephanie Tubbs Jones: MLK Drive at Avon Avenue Northbound shelter
- Barack Obama: E.131 St. at Miles Avenue Southbound shelter
Each leader was chosen for his/her unique contributions to the African American community, for their activism, leadership, or cultural contributions. The UMDC has been working tirelessly to help revitalize the Union-Miles neighborhood, and these bus shelters are just one piece of their larger vision. The UMDC hopes that by partnering with GCRTA, they can help make public transportation more accessible, enjoyable, and empowering for the community. “A project of this kind helps to build social capital and community investment, while creating a branding opportunity for community members to feel pride in their neighborhood, and improve the quality of life,” said Director Sample. “We will be adding more artwork to bus stops throughout the neighborhood.”
Not only has it added to the cultural prominence of the area, but it's also provided a powerful reminder of the incredible contributions of these leaders throughout history. It also brings people together to celebrate their shared history and culture. The genesis of this project came from what was discussed during a series of community forums held by the UMDC. “Many of the people who attended depend on public transportation, and they stated how they would like to see something aesthetically pleasing while waiting at their bus stop,” said UMDC Executive Director, Roshawn Sample. “Taking their feedback into consideration, we reached out to GCRTA to see how we could get artwork/wraps on a few bus stops within our neighborhood.” The collaboration values community growth, creative innovation, and partnership.