Dreaming at Cairo High

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I moved to Cairo, IL after one year of working in South Minneapolis with at-risk youth.  I lived there for eight years.  This town used to be 25,000 people back in the 1920’s but is now down to around 2,800.  It is a microscopic version of what Detroit is experiencing except isolated from other major towns for about an hour in each direction.  There is one high school in town, 98% African-American, part of the fifteenth poorest school district in the nation, and struggling in every area academically.  A new superintendent was hired and an used wing of the school was turned into the district office.  This room is where the school board meetings are held.  I was hired to paint these walls combined two previously selected murals from The Mural Farm in Philadelphia, as well as integrating outside ideas.  Visiting the superintendent last week, she said this room was ‘their happy place’.

 

 

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