Arts

Atlanta Artists Deface Their Own Murals To Bring Awareness To COVID-19 In Minority Communities

Murals throughout Atlanta can be seen with new masks over their faces. This is part of the initiative "Big Facts, Small Acts."
Murals throughout Atlanta can be seen with new masks over their faces. This is part of the initiative "Big Facts, Small Acts."
Credit Big Facts, Small Acts

It is a cruel act of vandalism when a work of art has been defaced, but artists defacing their own work is another story.

A COVID-19 prevention campaign, “Big Facts, Small Acts,” has enlisted Atlanta artists for their grassroots effort targeted at Black and brown communities. Artists such as Fabian Williams, Dubelyoo, Matt Letrs, and Melissa Mitchell are adding masks to their own paintings. Those of Martin Luther King Jr., Colin Kaepernick, Bob Marley, and others.

“Big Facts, Small Acts” spearheaded this effort as a way to remind minority communities and others to wear their masks.

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, death rates for Black and brown communities have been substantially higher than that of white. Sherri Scott, the founder of “Big Facts, Small Acts,” believes that it boils down to one reason.

“The short answer is racism. It’s systematic. We have higher rates of the underlying health conditions that make people particularly vulnerable to COVID,” she said. “And then economically Black and brown people are more likely to work those essential frontline jobs, so the exposure level is higher. And also health insurance. So if I feel sick, I’m more likely to not seek out medical help, and I’m more likely to continue to go to work because I cannot afford to.”

The organization is also handing out masks throughout the city. The masks display phrases like “Just Trying to Stay Alive While Black” and “Don’t Shut Up, Cover Up.”

“Big Facts, Small Acts” wants to get more artists involved, and anyone interested can contact organizers at bigfactssmallacts@gmail.com.