Murals Commemorate Staunton Community Center's Past
Students from Mary Baldwin put finishing touches on murals at the Booker T. Washington Community Center in Staunton
Staunton's Booker T. Washington Community Center now features three colorful new additions. The vibrant murals share with a younger generation the stories of the center's past as a high school during segregation.
Students from Mary Baldwin College put the finishing touches on the murals Tuesday. The paintings are just part of a project to preserve stories from the neighborhood around the community center.
The largest of the murals shows the former African-American high school - Booker T. Washington High School - from the days of segregation, through the integration of Staunton City Schools.
"Staunton is a diverse community and there are so many stories here. I hope they get to experience and learn the same stories I was able to learn," said Stephanie Cabacoy, Mary Baldwin senior.
Sixteen Mary Baldwin students helped design the murals. They worked alongside alumni from Booker T. Washington High School who shared their experiences with filmmaking students from the college.
A documentary will accompany the murals on display for visitors to learn the story of the Johnson Street neighborhood.
"I hope it will bring some community back to them like we used to have, and some pride," said LaLaura Wayland, Booker T. Washington High School alumna.
The two smaller murals will find a permanent home at the community center. The larger mural will travel as an exhibit around Staunton starting in September.
Students will finish the documentary next spring. Mary Baldwin plans to take the film and mural on tour to sites around the commonwealth.
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