Fundraising begins to ‘reimagine’ a defaced U Street mural

After a graffiti artist painted over a mural representing the life of artist and civil rights activist Paul Robeson, there’s an effort to reimagine the iconic U Street mural. The artist is working to raise funds to paint a new one.

Standing in front of the massive mural he painted back in 2015, Cory Stowers said he’s not mad at the young man who was caught in a social media video tagging it.

“I only had to take a look at it and understand that this is a novice, you know, like, a writer, they don’t really know what they’re doing,” he said.

Stowers believes the mural was targeted not for its content, but for its location at 13th and U streets NW.

Business owner Abdur-Rahim Muhammad, who commissioned the mural, said he was angry until he learned from Stowers that the artist likely had no motive other than to make a name for himself.

“I felt better about the situation, because I knew if we worked together again like we did the first time to put a mural on the wall, then we’ll have a plan to do something even bigger and better and greater.”

Now, Muhammad is raising funds to reimagine a new mural at 13th and U.

“We are going to try to raise the funds we need to repair or reimagine the wall … because right now, we’re dealing with a space that’s kind of been in flux. For a couple of years, there has been maintenance happening on the wall,” Stowers said.

“There’s a need for, you know, other repairs other than just fixing the graffiti parts. So it might be a thing where we need to reimagine the mural.”

He’s planning on working with other artists and the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities to make that happen. The original mural was made possible by a grant funded through the same group.

On Tuesday, police released an image of the suspect.

Police are looking for a person who painted over a mural in D.C. (Courtesy DC police)

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