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The Third Year 2008 - 2009
Rochester Historical Mural, Who Made Rochester, at Monroe Correctional Facility 


Photo by Margo Muto, the visual artist who worked with the students / inmates on the mural.
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On Creating the Who Made Rochester Historical Mural


From discrimination, the underground railroad, Rochester history, Rochester being the second home for Frederick Douglass, what I would like to say to you who observe this mural is that this is more than a piece of artwork. This mural brought young men in Monroe Correctional Facility together. We put our differences aside, such as the hoods we are from. The great thing about working on this mural is that you don't see this very often these days.

The crazy thing is back then it used to be about us as people. Today everyone plays themselves all across the globe. Working on the mural was united we stand, divided we fall. We stood and the result of our standing is presented to you in this mural.

I hope you will take it for what it is and relate it to your own life. Acknowledge just how far we have come as a community and think if we work together how far we can go. It's not about what the world can do for me, but what can I do for the world. Pretty much this is what working on this mural opened my eyes to.


Working on the mural photos by Dale Davis.
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This mural has given me the opportunity to look back at the history of the city I live in now. Working on it was a great experience. This helped me see there is so much more to life than spending it in jail. I am now seeing that I still have a chance in life, all I have to do is to keep pushing myself.

I believe if this project was held more often in the city it would change a lot of the young people's state of mind and how they look at life.

The one saying that now and forever will stick with me is Susan B. Anthony's "Failure is impossible."

I encourage you to look at this and ask yourself where you want to see yourself in the future.



Working on the mural photos by Dale Davis.
Click on image to enlarge

During the time I worked on the mural I learned more than I expected. One thing I learned was that Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony worked together. A black man and a white woman working together was unheard of at that time. I, also, learned that Frederick Douglass actually published his own newspaper, The North Star, and the office was in downtown Rochester. I was surprised to learn Frederick Douglass home schooled his children. I found great inspiration in what I learned.

I have a few words for those of you looking at our mural. Please take a moment to look at it piece by piece and try to absorb what you see and what you feel. Try to understand the message the mural is delivering.

I would also like you to look at the mural and leave with the positive influence that you dreams can come true with hard work and determination.

Working on this mural I learned I have a very broad artistic side of me, and I want to pursue the process of creating art in my education.