COLUMBIA — In the wake of recent civil unrest in Ferguson, a Columbia group named Artists for Justice will stage an event on Labor Day at Peace Park on Eighth and Elm streets.
The event will feature artistic expressions, such as spoken poetry and interpretive song and dance, in response to the Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown. The event will be held from 2 to 6 p.m., rain or shine, and admission is free.
While the group was formed in response to a specific incident, event organizer Kenneth Bryant said Artists for Justice might continue to be active in the Columbia community.
"This is not a moment; this is a movement," he said.
Artists from across Columbia will be participating in the event and presenting original art to the community. In addition to poetry readings, musical performances and live painting, Artists for Justice will be providing interactive exhibits for children and adults.
Artists for Justice was initially formed by poet Monica Hand in response to Brown's death. The group consists of artists and MU graduate students from the English Department.
For Artists for Justice, the goal of Monday's event is to inspire the public to share their emotions surrounding Ferguson and injustice in the community .
"This event is about articulating a movement for peace, justice and civil rights in an artistic way," Bryant said. "What's important is that people get together and express themselves through art."
Lisa Bartlett, owner of Artlandish Gallery in Columbia, will be creating a community mural, and attendees can join in the work. For Bartlett, the event is about igniting dialogue in a fresh and creative way.
"It seems there's been a lag in awareness of civil rights," Bartlett said. "I think Ferguson opened our eyes and kind of slapped us in the face a little bit."
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