South Side Community Center Gets Colorful Mural
by Seth Roy

Lansing - The front of the South Side Community Coalition Center is getting a little more colorful.  A group of children - ages 6 to 16 - is paint a mural, filled with images of birds, food, books, and people.  One boy helped design the mural, and was working on it Tuesday.  He drew a girl standing on top of a pile of books and looking toward the sky.  "She's standing on books to show that we learn here," he said.  Behind the girl, smokestacks emitting music notes that symbolize creativity, he said.  The smokestacks also stand for the Lansing Board of Water and Light, which helped sponsor the mural.  Pete Cunningham, the center's director, said O'Leary Paint also helped.  "The rest was the imagination of the kids," he said.  Its theme is "Live Your Dreams," which is written on a book in the center.  About seven children formed a committee a few weeks ago to design the mural, Cunningham said.  Kids in the community center's summer program each drew a picture that, to them, represented what the center means to them.  Artist Erika Magers, who also has worked on murals at Riddle Elementary School and elsewhere, took the children's drawings and projected them onto the canvas, based on how they wanted it to look.  "I'm kind of like the conductor," Magers said.  "A lot of big cities have murals all over the place."  South Side hosts up to 50 children a day during the summer, Cunningham said.  Yolanda Sherrer, youth coordinator, said programs like the mural instills pride in the kids.  "This is theirs," she said.  "This is what the summer kids did.  That's a legacy that you want to keep going."  About six children at a time can paint on the mural, which Magers said could be done by Friday, if not early next week. 

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Article from the Lansing City Community News: July 29, 2007; Seth Roy is a reporter for the Lansing State Journal;
children's names have been removed.