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Warren Lane Elementary students unveil mural honoring Jesse Owens


P.S. Arts and students of Inglewood’s Warren Lane Elementary, along with actress Keke Palmer (Akeelah & The Bee, Brotherly Love, upcoming Scream Queens) unveiled a mural this week that honors Jesse Owens, who upstaged Nazi Germany at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games.

The students’ goal was not only to honor a historical figure, but also to provide a spark of empowerment within the community. Guided by P.S. Arts teaching artist Tiffany Graham, the students researched and discussed Owens’ impact on society, and they collaborated on the design and execution of the mural.

“This project has engaged the parents, students and teachers at our school, and it will continue to inspire the community with its important message and beautiful artwork,” said Malissa Feruzzi Shriver, executive director of Turnaround Arts California.

This project is an effort to improve school culture through arts.  This mural showcases their interpretation of Owens’ story, and it serves as a daily reminder of his motivational message, “In order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline and effort.”

The 8-foot-by-8-foot mural hangs on an exterior facing wall for the students, families and the public to enjoy. At the unveiling, where Palmer was the keynote speaker, the students presented photos and videos detailing the mural’s progress from initial sketches through completion.

P.S. Arts’ mission is to improve the lives of children by providing art education to underserved public schools and communities. It is the only organization in Southern and Central California that provides yearlong art education in dance, visual arts, music, and theatre arts to every child in a school during the regular school day.

Turnaround Arts led by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, together with national and local partners, it brings high-quality arts education resources to some of the lowest performing elementary and middle schools in the country.