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Community Engagement

A New Community Arts Project!

Linden Murals of Empowerment

Linden Murals of Empowerment (LME) will capitalize on the power of community muralism to facilitate public dialogues and discussions about the preponderance of structural inequality and racism in Linden, a predominantly Black neighborhood in Columbus that suffers from the negative effects of institutionalized racism. LME will create 10 community-initiated murals in the neighborhood to foster civic participation, community healing, and youth empowerment between 2021-2023. LME will promote diversity, equity and racial justice by empowering youth of color in Linden. The team will strive to build up their self-esteem by cultivating their creativity and placing a high premium on their feelings and aspirations.

Contact Us

Questions for the LME team? Please email us at lme@osu.edu 

Our mission is to promote civic participation, community healing and youth empowerment through community driven muralism in the neighborhood of Linden

Past Events

Community Conversation - December 18, 2021

LME kicked off activities in Linden Life Fellowship with their inaugural community conversation. The event opened with a powerful slam poetry reading by Aní Mwalimu, a Columbus educator, artist, and entrepreneur. Guisela Latorre, LME's Principal Investigator, introduced the project and discussed muralism’s potential for community empowerment. Powerful testimonies came from community members who spoke about their hopes and dreams for Linden. Karen Clark, North Linden Area Commissioner, introduced the topic of implicit bias to the attendees. How does implicit bias affect perceptions of Linden in Columbus media reports and in public opinion? How are those perceptions affected by race? What parts of Linden are lost when implicit bias influences attitudes about the neighborhood? These important questions ignited passionate and insightful responses from the community.

Youth Arts Workshop - February 26, 2022

Lead artist Francesca Miller (assisted by Shelbi Toone) taught a youth arts workshop that sparked a love for creativity and social justice in her students. Taking place in the Linden Community Center, a bustling hub of neighborhood activity, young participants learned about Columbus’s mural history and about their own potential as future muralists. To capture their unique perspectives, Francesca asked her students to define what Linden means to them. They were honest about the challenges in the community such as poverty, gun violence, homelessness, and other problems. But the young artists also beamed with pride when talking about Linden’s resiliency, unity, strength, and diversity. With these thoughts in mind and with markers and pencils in hand, these young creatives began to put their words into inspiring images. The LME team were delighted with these young artists and with a surprise visit from Robert W. Clark, Columbus’s Director of Public Safety.

Youth sketching ideas at workshop
Girls participate in Youth Arts Workshop
We can stop gun violence in Linden photo
youth art from workshop
Guisela Latorre in a blue sweater
Guisela Latorre Professor, Ohio State Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Njeri Kagotho in a white shirt
Njeri Kagotho Associate Professor, Ohio State College of Social Work
Becca Beech in a white sweater
Becca Beech Graduate Student, Ohio State College of Social Work & John Glenn College of Public Administration, LME Outreach Coordinator


Francesca Miller in a black shirt with colorful graphics
Francesca Miller, Freelance Visual Artist, All People Arts, LME Lead Artist


Andrea Russell
Andrea Russell North Linden Area Commission & Linden Resident, LME Community Liaison 


Shelbi Toone in a jean jacket
Shelbi Toone, All People Arts, LME Artist and Muralist


Karen Hutzel in a blue shirt with a black blazer
Karen Hutzel Professor and Dean, University of North Texas

LME is made possible through grants from the Global Arts and Humanities Discovery Theme and the Seed Fund for Racial Justice.