Artist uses boarded storefronts to spread messages of solidarity amid protests

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Some Chicago area business owners are still taking precautions and covering their storefronts with plywood. One artist is using the boarded up businesses to spread messages of solidarity.

"We are painting outside of a bagel shop on Clark Street and they have been boarded up out of an abundance of caution due to the protests, but we want to be sure that people know that they're still open for business and use plywood as a platform to convey a message of solidarity," said mural artist Nina Tiberi Sawica.

"Our city is hurting right now, the whole country is, but as someone who's lived here for 10 years, it's hard to watch," said mural volunteer Kelly Daily.

"I came across Nina and Kelly and just asked them 'do you guys need some help? I'd love to be a part of creating this mural with you," said fellow mural volunteer Jori Harland.

"It's a message that needs to be shared so we're just trying to put it in a place where people will see it and spread some positivity," Daily said.

"It's easy to feel helpless sometimes and that's not an option right now. This is one small way that I felt I could contribute to a world that's really hurting right now," Sawica added.

"We need to work together to be better. That's basically what we're trying to say here, support the Black Lives Matter movement and make sure that people area aware and see resources on how to help and that we're all here for each other," Daily said.

"No matter the color of your skin, race, gender. I think it's important that you take the time out of your personal bubble and express that you're here to help whoever is in your community," Harland said.

"We need to stand behind, not be the center voice, but stand behind and amplify messages that need to be shared," Sawica said.

The staff at Taste of New York say they take pride in spreading love peace and unity, especially in times like this.
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