#ToThePolls2020: Philly’s Mural project to get voters to the polls in 2020
LOVE park will display its #ToThePolls2020 murals through Election Day
The City of Brotherly Love is also known as the city of murals thanks to its long-running Mural Arts project. Every installation in the city has a significant and special meaning.
This year, in LOVE Park, right across from City Hall and where most protests begin around equality, racism, and issues plaguing our community, a mural installation around the 2020 election has popped up.
#ToThePolls2020 is a nonpartisan initiative, and has recently made LOVE Park home six large-scale mural installations, all of which are painted by Philadelphia-based artists.
The mind behind the idea is Conrad Benner, a Philly native who owns the Streets Dept., a long-time photo-blog that discovers and showcases art in the streets of the city.
AL DÍA spoke with Benner about the project’s origins.
He shared that it was an idea he thought of in 2018 and wanted to do it again, but in a more visible area like LOVE Park. The installation will be up through election day.
Benner chose both artists with experience and some first-time muralists that were physically engaged and interested in voting and active participants in the city’s social and art scenes.
One mural, in particular, highlights the significance of the Latinx vote in this year’s election.
Our fourth finished mural for #ToThePolls2020 is an altar mural by Candy Alexandra González!
"In my culture, building an altar is a practice that fosters a connection between the living and their ancestors. With this mural, I honor the legacy of our voting rights ancestors..." pic.twitter.com/STymfqhZJj
— Conrad Benner (@StreetsDept) October 8, 2020
It’s artist, Candy Alexandra Gonzalez, was born and raised in Little Havana, Miami Now a Philadelphia-based artist, Candy created a mural which resembles an altar.
“I really wanted to put the good word out there,” they said.
They described the mural as a way to “honor the legacy of our voting rights ancestors.”
“With this mural, I harness their strength, resilience, and wisdom,” said Gonzalez. “May their spirit protect us in our fight for liberation.”
Through using the mural as an altar, Gonzalez is also honoring the voting rights activists that came before in history.
“The mural itself is dedicated to former rights activists, people who are the reason someone that looks like me and has the heritage that I have can vote today,” they said.
The power of the Latina vote in 2020 is expected to make a defining mark on the upcoming elections. Additionally, the overall Latinx vote has been called in the past, a ‘sleeping giant,’ however, this year has all the makings of being different. It starts with the record number of Latinx voters eligible to partake in this year’s election.
In the past, targeting the Latino population to vote has been ignored, but his year both parties have been closely watching the Latinx vote. In Philly and beyond, this election also marks a time when Latinx voters have been most engaged in the conversation about the future of our nation.