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Collecting Pieces for Future Generations: GRPM preserves art from civil unrest

Posted at 8:18 AM, May 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-28 08:26:36-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.  — We continue our conversation on how the city of Grand Rapids has grown over the past year after the protests and civil unrest in response to the death of George Floyd.

READ: Working to repair and heal Grand Rapids after civil unrest one year ago

The Grand Rapids Public Museum is actually the oldest museum in the state of Michigan and is collecting pieces to teach and tell stories for future generations.

"The fact that this museum is actually taking the time to understand what the message means and appreciate it, it just means the world to me that I helped, that I'm a part of that,” said artist Jalexia Stoutmyre.

WATCH: Art murals continue popping up on boarded windows in downtown Grand Rapids

That includes three pieces of plywood art with powerful messages that once covered broken windows in downtown Grand Rapids after the civil unrest in may of 2020.

"We really want to be able to support and be a platform here at the museum for the voices of the diverse community in grand rapids, in allowing these artists to have this platform to continue the messages that they painted on a plywood," said Christie Bender, director of marketing & customer service at GRPM.

The museum says it's also collecting many other pieces surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement.

"We're always going to be proud to tell the diverse community story even when it's hard. it's important for us to tell it accurately to preserve that," the museum said in a statement.