“Peace Mural” Painted on Grand Theater in New Orleans East

“Peace Mural” Painted on Grand Theater in New Orleans East Celebrated at 5:00 pm on Sunday, August 23

Entrepreneur & Music Mogul Russell Simmons, Local Artist Brandan “B Mike” Odums, the Peacekeepers of New Orleans and District E City Councilman James Gray Work to Bring “Keep the Peace” Message to City

NEW ORLEANS (8/21/15) – Local visual artist Brandan “B Mike” Odums, the Peacekeepers of New Orleans, New Orleans City Councilmember James A. Gray II and numerous young community leaders and members will come together on Sunday, August 23, 2015, to celebrate a mural-in-progress painted with support from the District E City Council Office and “Keep the Peace,” a campaign supported by Music Producer Russel Simmons’ company, RushCard. The initiative was designed by RushCard to support nonprofit, community-based organizations and coalitions across the country that have created unique and successful models for reducing neighborhood youth violence.

“Reducing violence among our young people in urban neighborhoods has always been extremely important to me,” said Russell Simmons in early August when the program launched. “I’m pleased that RushCard is supporting these initiatives across the country.”

RushCard’s “Keep the Peace” initiative provided a $5,000 grant to the Peacekeepers of New Orleans to support Mr. Odum’s work. A number of young people from the 2 cent Summer Session worked with Odum to bring the mural to life.

“This mural, originally conceived to be part of the citywide commemoration of the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, will represent the community’s struggles in the aftermath of the storm,” said Odums. “And it will feature inspirational messages designed to foster peace, unity and love in the larger metropolitan area.”

Brother Walter Umrani of the Peacekeepers of New Orleans said it’s time for the community to foster peace. “We are responsible for maintaining a safe environment for our women and children,” Umrani said. “We have to take responsibility for what happens-and will happen– in our community.”

Councilman James Gray said he thought the mural’s message is powerful. “Too often we see negative images of our young people in the press,” Gray said. “This project took shape when our young people-artists, community activists, and young professionals -decided to voice their hopes and dreams for their community and their future. It sends a very positive, empowering message.”

WHO:
Artist Brandan “B Mike” Odums, Peacekeepers of New Orleans, Councilman James A. Gray, Community Members

WHAT:
Celebration of “Keep the Peace” Mural in New Orleans East, created with support from RushCard’s Keep the Peace Initiative. The mural is currently being painted by Odums and members of the New Orleans community on the Grand Theater, a massive 200-foot-wide building that has been abandoned since Hurricane Katrina.

WHEN:
Sunday, August 23, 2015
5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

WHERE:
The Grand Theater in New Orleans East
6601 Read Boulevard (From downtown, I-10 to Read exit, right onto service road.)
New Orleans, LA 70127