The Power of Art and Hope

Participants Painting The Community Mural

Participants add their finishing touches to the community mural, led by artist Richard Haynes. Courtesy photo

On January 16, Manchester’s Currier Museum of Art invited people to experience the power of art and hope while spending a day celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Around 260 guests accepted the invitation and participated in discussions and enjoyed special gallery tours. Young artists from local schools had a chance for their work to be displayed in the world-class museum. Socks and warm clothing were collected to support the work of service and advocacy group Waypoint. Many attendees participated in a collaborative mural project led by New Hampshire-based artist Richard Haynes who kicked off the day with a presentation about his own life and experiences and how we can advance the legacy of the Civil Rights leader.

“He’s one of New Hampshire’s most beloved artists,” says Bruce McColl, director of engagement at the Currier Museum, adding that the artist’s “creative and uplifting spirit” was on display, bringing a room full of people from different walks of life together. A theme throughout the event was “Infinite Hope,” a reference to Dr. King’s words: “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” His words were a reminder of how important persistence and optimism were to the American Civil Rights movement. The mural project and gallery tours were both focused on finding such hopeful moments in the museum’s classrooms and galleries.

“This event gave us all a chance to create something meaningful through a collaborative artmaking experience,” says Rachael Kane, the curator of education and interpretation at the Currier Museum. “We hope that finding examples of Dr. King’s ideals in our galleries, local classrooms, and broader communities will serve as a joyful reminder of the importance of hope and creativity.”

The day ended on an inspirational note with the viewing of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech in the auditorium, after the unveiling of the completed community mural.

Event Sponsors With Mural

Currier Director Alan Chong, Director of Engagement Bruce McColl, artist Richard Haynes, and Citizens’ Glenn Rowley, SVP, Director of Government Banking with Citizens volunteers in front of the mural. Courtesy Photo

603 D Feb23 C1This article is featured in the spring 2023 issue of 603 Diversity.

603 Diversity’s mission is to educate readers of all backgrounds about the exciting accomplishments and cultural contributions of the state’s diverse communities, as well as the challenges faced and support needed by those communities to continue to grow and thrive in the Granite State.

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