The Back Lives Matter public art installation on a traffic signal control box at the corner of East Blithedale and Camino Alto was commissioned by the Arts Commission as a response to community interest in showing support for members of the Black community who have experienced discrimination and individual, institutional, and structural racism.
Recently, the Mill Valley City Council unequivocally joined community members in affirming that Black Lives Matter. The Arts Commission also held a public meeting to discuss Council directives to address racial injustice and inequities in Mill Valley. The Staff Report reviews several art projects in progress or under consideration.
We acknowledge that there is a political organization with the same name -- and some have interpreted the art piece as an endorsement of the organization. This is not the case. The artwork is a simple, yet powerful, statement that Black Lives Matter -- and not associated with, nor an endorsement of, the organization in any way.
We realize that Mill Valley has historically not fulfilled its stated intent to create a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming community for people of all racial and socioeconomic backgrounds. Through this art piece and many other actions to come, we commit to working towards eliminating racial disparities, both inside government and in the community.