Springfield, MA
Project Title
Recreation of Historic AfriCOBRA Murals in Springfield
Fiscal Year Awarded
Grant or Program
Public Art for Spatial Justice
Grant Amount

In the early 70s, AfriCOBRA artist Nelson Stevens created and managed a first-of-its-kind program of mural creation in Springfield which resulted in over 30 indoor and outdoor murals. Of the 30+ murals, four were designed and painted by Mr. Stevens himself.

Mason Square is the historic and current center of the Black community in Springfield, and over the last few years has been the site of over $200 million of investments in housing and public infrastructure. Only two of the 1970’s murals remain, and neither were painted by Mr. Stevens.

Common Wealth Murals and Mr. Stevens will recreate two of Mr. Stevens’ murals, one which honors Black women, and the other a celebration of Black music. The murals will be recreated during the Fresh Paint Springfield mural festival by a team of artists participating in the Community Mural Institute (CMI), which teaches how to create community-engaged polytab murals.


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