NewsA Path Forward


Diatribe's 49507 Project using art to change the narrative on south GR

Diatribe 49507 Project
Diatribe 49507 Project
Diatribe 49507 Project
Diatribe 49507 Project
Posted at 3:44 PM, May 22, 2023

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — FOX 17 has launched a new initiative in an effort to address the rise in youth crime in West Michigan.

“A Path Forward” is a promise to uplift children, teens and young adults while building bridges toward a safer community by shining a light on the people and organizations working to make a difference.

One of those organizations is the Diatribe, who is poised to kick off its third year of the 49507 Project.

Grand Rapids’ south side is largely BIPOC, and the area has a history with crime and other issues linked to inequity and inequality.

The Diatribe began the 49507 Project in 2021 in order to change that.

Since then, Black and Brown artists have produced 15 large murals on the sides of area buildings. They all represent community voices, and two installations are planned for this year: one at Lifequest Urban Outreach and another at Ebenezer Bakery Market and Restaurant.

“We're hoping with the arts is that we can make the neighborhood look like, you know, we live here, as our neighborhood is ever evolving and changing, and see if that we can continue to work to develop our neighborhood without displacing the people that live here,” says Chief Inspiration Architect Marcel “Fable” Price.

Diatribe 49507 Project

“That's also what this project is about is showing people that we can create the Grand Rapids that we want to see, that we all know that this place is amazing,” Price adds. “That's why we love it. That's why we stay here. But if we continue to invest in it, to sprinkle all of this incredible seasoning on all of this protein and this meat that we have, then we can make an incredible dish. And that's what we're trying to do. We're trying to cook something amazing.”

Ebenezer is located next door to Emory, which is the Diatribe’s future arts and culture hub. Artists will begin painting the mural there in August.

Community feedback was crucial in selecting the themes for the murals, which will be unveiled in September.

To see the 15 murals completed so far, view the map on the Diatribe’s website

If you decide to check out the murals, Price recommends scanning their QR codes to learn more about them, their artists and the local businesses.

Diatribe 49507 Project


Do you have an idea or know a person, program, or group we should cover for A Path Forward? Let’s connect: Facebook - Twitter - Instagram - YouTube

Check out our list of community resources available to help in West Michigan.

More A Path Forward coverage.