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Liberty City project wins two major grants

“Moonlight” playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney is continuing to leave his mark on Liberty City.

The neighborhood set the scene for the 2017 Academy Award winning film, and will now play host to an art installation that will tell the story of segregation walls in America.

McCraney and Brooklyn-based artist Chat Travieso are partnering with Arts for Learning/Miami, a nonprofit that focuses on teaching students through the arts, on the research and activism project set to be built at the former site of the segregation wall in Liberty City, on Northwest 12th Avenue between 62nd and 67th Streets.

In the 1930s, several major cities around the country erected segregation walls to separate emerging black neighborhoods from existing white neighborhoods. Liberty City’s wall was built after the construction of Liberty Square in the mid-1930s and towered seven feet tall. It remained there through at least the 1960s, though the exact date it was demolished is unknown.

The project is coming to fruition thanks to grants from the Knight Arts Challenge ($80,000) and more than $300,000 from ArtPlace America.. Of nearly 1,000 applicants, Arts for Learning was one of only 23 that will receive funding this year — and the only one in Florida, ArtPlace American announced Tuesday.

Called Wall (In), the multi-year project will bring together 20 high school students from Liberty City to research the remains of the wall, and work to design a memorial on the site with guidance from McCraney and Travieso.

“We are honored to receive this funding that will help bring the Wall (In) project to life – the project aims to provide a platform where young artists can discuss and explore notions of public space, history, context and civic engagement,” said Sheila Womble, executive director of Arts for Learning/Miami, via release.

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