#SMF916 Made Me Heart Sacramento All Over Again
By Laura Braden Quigley
Brace yourselves folks, and buckle in for a (positive) rant of epic proportions.
The Sacramento Mural Festival has made me fall in love with Sacramento. All over again.
It all started a few nights ago. I was driving home with the top down due to this crazy and weirdly pleasant weather we’re currently enjoying. I happened to drive past the Chase bank on 21st and noticed that the muralists had started working. I pulled into their parking lot, cranked the tunes and literally watched these women paint. For like 15 minutes.
It turns out, watching a fugly wall/building transform into a giant art canvas by a passionate artist is deeply satisfying. You appreciate talents and skills you don’t have. It’s fun to guess what they’re painting. It’s fulfilling to watch an expert practice their craft. Who knew?!?!
And last night, I joined 200+ Sacramentans for a bike ride to six of the 11 sites. Good buddy and organizer David Sobon led the way with red megaphone in tow. At each stop, we heard a summary on the artist and the mural – and the actual artist was there working and sharing their thoughts on Sacramento.
Let me be clear. There were PLENTY of beautiful murals throughout the grid before this Festival. But the opportunity to actually witness that creation with your community in an organized fashion is rare. And that’s what makes this Festival so unique.
After the bike ride, I hit up the Barn in West Sacramento, and I couldn’t stop talking about these damn murals. I woke up wanting to go see the other five.
Clearly, it’s fun. But it’s also reawakened my passion, optimism and enthusiasm for this city. Because let’s keep it 100: you can get burnout from anything, and community/civic engagement is no different – especially when you have a front row seat to how the sausage is made. But experiencing #SMF916 has reminded me how amazing this city is, why I choose to live here and the power of collaboration to create whatever sort of community we want. Together. And I can’t wait to see what Sacramento does next.
…Perhaps a streetcar line connecting West Sacramento to downtown and midtown? 🙂 #GoSacStreetcar