CauseConnect® worked with Kobe Bryant during the spring of 2006 to identify and hire an artist to create a mural on “Racial Harmony.” Paul Botello was ultimately selected due to his amazing work in Lincoln Heights and throughout Los Angeles. He was the perfect choice: his murals — such as the amazing “The Wall that Speaks, Sings, and Shouts (Muro que Habla, Canta y Grita)” — give strong visual voices to Latinos. We worked with — and supported — the artist as he navigated the complex mechanisms of creating and painting a large-scale mural in Los Angeles; first, through the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, then in the community as he sought input from local residents, and finally, through Kobe and his representatives.
When the public art project fell through due to no other reason other than Kobe’s change in representation, CauseConnect had thankfully negotiated a design fee for Paul so he was paid for his work. Later, CauseConnect hired the artist through another client (Toyota) and showcased his work for a community project with the Boys & Girls Clubs of East Los Angeles.
The proposed Kobe mural was outlined as below:
Medium: Acrylic on an exterior concrete cinderblock wall
Dimensions: 29 ft. wide by 79 ft. high (2,291 sq. ft.)
Location: 305 N. Soto St. (corner of Cesar Chavez Ave.) in Boyle Heights, facing north
Mural Theme: Inspired by the theme of racial harmony (peace and unity) and in honor of the City of Los Angeles’ 225th anniversary, the mural will pay tribute to Los Angeles’ multicultural history, culture and richness of its diverse roots that are Mexican, Native American, African American, Asian and European. It will be a testament to the struggle and triumphs of the family, and the working-class people. The mural will depict the many faces and colors of our city’s people, man and woman, from the faceless poor to the famous. It will symbolically address the pertinent issues that concern “Racial Harmony” in Los Angeles, California and the U.S., from the past to the present. With its dynamic composition, it will convey the strength of our American people’s fortitude, the beauty of their spirit and the values of a people who are determined to survive any obstacle. The mural’s integrity and quality should last 25-50 years, providing a valued gift to the community.