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Center on Halsted hosts Orlando Traveling Memorial
by Vern Hester
2018-10-17

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On Oct. 12, the Center on Halsted held an opening reception for The Orlando Traveling Memorial, a mural inspired by not only the Pulse nightclub attack which left 49 dead, but also the deaths of 2-year-old Lane Graves and singer Christina Grimmie in the same week.

Graves was fatally attacked by an alligator at Disney World and Grimmie was shot on the street after performing at a concert. The Pulse attack involved a lone shooter who attacked 300 patrons at a popular LGBTQ club with an automatic firearm; it is the deadliest incidence of violence against LGBTQ people in U.S. history. All three incidents happened in the Orlando area within the second week of June 2016.

Spearheaded by founder/visionary Colleen Ardaman, the mural is set to travel the country to "remember the 49 left behind." Ardaman, who spoke at the opening, elaborated on the art work for the mural, which included painted portraits of the victims of the Pulse attack by surviving family members, and the "I Am A Handprint Campaign" that collected thousands of handprints of police, first responders, medical personnel, officials, local citizens, volunteers and groups who aided in the Pulse aftermath. Ardaman said, "The mural starts with our volunteers—"the living part of the Memorial"—demonstrating support, compassion, kindness, humility and love to bring healing and restoration."

The memorial will be on display on the second floor of Center on Halsted until Nov. 23, and will then move to Amundsen High School, 5110 N. Damen Ave.

Related: www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Orlando-Traveling-Memorial-to-debut-at-Center-on-Halsted/64350.html .


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