Second Chance Mural

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Date: 1991

Region: North America

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Painting


Artist: Second Chance

Confronting Bodies: Salinas City Council

Dates of Action: 1991

Location: Salinas, California

Description of Artwork: The proposed mural by the organization Second Chance did not fall within the city council's guidelines of agricultural scenes carrying no political message.

The Incident: The City Council in Salinas, California threatened to withhold a promised $5,000 grant from Second Chance, an organization that provides teenagers with an alternative to gangs, if the mural the organization proposed to paint did not meet "non-political" standards set by the Council to prohibit gang related imagery. Second Chance works to provide young people an alternative to gang activity by giving them an opportunity for positive community involvement and artistic expression. The group has executed a number of murals in the community, and says gang members seem to respect their murals and so do not paint graffiti over them. In May of 1991, after promising Second Chance a $5,000 grant to paint a mural at a specific site, the Salinas City Council announced that it would only fund the painting project if the murals depicted agricultural scenes and carried no political message.

Results of Incident: Nearly all the Council Members were replaced in the next election, and the new Council funded the project without restrictions. The city is no longer restricting the content of murals.

Source: People for the American Way