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September 27, 2022

The Art of Revitalization: A Community Mural on 30th and U Street

A vibrant splash of color has been added to the walls of AFOMA on 30th and U as part of a Canopy South community engagement project. The new mural will serve as a symbol of unity and pride for years to come, voted on and painted by residents of the neighborhood. We’re excited for you to see it!

The desire for a mural was expressed through community engagement surveys and public input sessions in 2022. Residents of the Southside Terrace – Indian Hill neighborhood identified a need to create a sense of place in the area and celebrate the diversity of the community. The mural was a way to do that and more, bringing the community together at all stages of the process.

Local artists submitted proposals through a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process, outlining their unique vision for the mural. The proposals received were diverse, highlighting different styles and elements that showcased the artists’ perspectives on the neighborhood’s diversity. A selection committee then reviewed the proposals and narrowed the list down to three finalists. To involve the community in the selection process, a series of engagement activities were held, including a neighborhood cleanup event, door-to-door polling, online voting, and a voting board displayed at the Simple Foundation.

Hugo Zamorano, an artist and resident of the neighborhood, was chosen as the lead artist for the project. Hugo and Canopy South hosted multiple listening sessions, in both English and Spanish, to help inform the final design. After neighborhood approval, Hugo and his team sketched the design on the wall, creating outlines that were to be filled in by the community. Through Community Paint days, local youth and adults were able to paint sections of the mural in order to bring it to life.

Afterward, Hugo and his team put the final touches on the mural. What was once a pink wall is now a canvas of colors at a common local meeting point. The mural is intended to promote safety and a sense of belonging in the neighborhood. We hope it serves as a source of pride, where community members can walk by and say “I had a part in that.”

The “Action Activity” was funded by the Choice Neighborhoods Planning grant. We’re grateful for the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s support and the Selection Committee members who made the project possible:

  • Marianna Foral, City of Omaha 
  • Serendipity Gomez, Southside Terrace Resident and Artist 
  • Connie Jones, formerly Omaha Housing Authority 
  • Juan Padilla, Canopy South 
  • Anita Rojas, Indian Hill Highland South Resident Vice President 
  • Tracy Sanders, Indian Hill Highland South Neighborhood Association President 
  • Watie White, Artist

If you’re in the area, be sure to stop by 30th and U to appreciate the artwork for yourself!

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