The Social Justice Billboard Project elevates BIPOC voices and artwork in our community in Minneapolis, MN using the three billboards facing the intersection of East 38th Street and Chicago Avenue South, the site of George Floyd's murder and memorial. This Project was initiated in response to the murder of George Floyd and inspired by Peyton Scott Russell's "Icon of a Revolution" mural placed at Mr. Floyd's memorial site in the days following his death. Phase I of the project ran from July 2020 until the end of March 2021 and was entirely community funded thanks to contributions through social media promotion from supporters.
These generous awards from the National Academy of Design/Edwin Austin Abbey Memorial Trust Fund for Mural Painting & The Woodbury Foundation launch Phase III of the Social Justice Billboard. The artists since then have been: Rico Gatson, Wang Ping, Jonathan Thunder, Carlos Barberena, Constanza Carballo & Kenneth Rivera, Patrick Earl Hammie and Endalyn T. Outlaw, Seitu Ken Jones, Bobby Marines, Helina Metaferia, Jefferson Pinder, Josué Rivas, and Bayeté Ross Smith.
Each artist's billboard is up for three months. Every three months, NE Sculpture | Gallery Factory commissions three new artists to be funded to create & exhibit public art in response to the trauma of the murder of George Floyd.
The National Academy of Design/Edwin Austin Abbey Memorial Trust Fund for Mural Painting, NYC is a group of National Academicians who convene regularly to distribute awards from The Edwin Austin Abbey Memorial Trust Fund for Mural Painting in America, first established in 1932. Founded in 1825 by a group of forward-thinking artists and architects, the National Academy of Design was created to promote American art and architecture. Moving forward, the National Academy plans to sponsor mural projects every year across the United States in partnership with different non-profit organizations.