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ROAR Mural Revealed Yesterday Afternoon at Smith Intermediate School

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Yesterday afternoon at Smith Intermediate School on Wheeler Ave. in the City of Cortland, Cortland’s newest mural was revealed after much hard work. The mural covers the school’s basketball behind the building.


The mural, titled ROAR, which stands for Respect, Open-hearted, Acting Safely and Responsible, was a project by Principal Jen Block, local artist Molly Reagan, and twenty-one students who were selected to take part in the creation of the mural. Principal Block said 80 students applied to help with the mural, something that she said blew her away in the commitment the students at Smith had towards the project.

The mural’s theme is focused on mental health and highlights the ROAR mantra Smith Intermediate School has. Work on the project began back in April of this year. Paint supplies for the mural were donated by Lowe’s Home Improvement.

“Projects like this, have the power to transform children, schools, and communities. I’m so proud; this is my life’s work and I was able to share the gift of all of your Smith School student’s time and talents.”

Artist Molly Reagan had this to say on the importance the mural means for the community:

Molly Reagan also gifted each student who took part in the mural with a basketball with their name painted on it by Reagan.

Photo by Tom Milligan.

Additional partners for the project included Jennifer Sylstra, a mental health professional from the Mental Health Association of Cortland County, Kate Downes and Jackie Carlton from the Seven Valleys Health Coalition, and Cristin Marshall from SPEAK UP Cortland.

This project is made possible through the CNY Arts Grants for Regional Arts and Cultural Engagement regrant program thanks to a New York State Senate Initiative supported by the NYS Legislature, the Office of the Governor and administered by the New York State Council on the Arts.

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