OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -- A project designed to bring more color to downtown Overland Park is at the center of a fiery Facebook post.
Not a lot of people notice an alley in downtown Overland Park. It’s behind the main street and only one way cars drive right past. But a blank wall could be colorful very soon if the Overland Park City Council approves a new mural design.
With lots of people walking around, Cheyanne Sandidge said Overland Park is the place to be.
“Overland Park is very open. You know and loving,” Sandidge said.
And that’s why a mural was created for the back of a non-profit store.
“We were honored to be selected for a mural,” Karen Greenwood, who helps run the Ten Thousand Villages shop, said.
Greenwood said the mural is indicative of the community and the artisans in her shop.
“I think it is a wonderful welcome to our community. It welcomes everyone to downtown Overland Park,” Greenwood said.
But not everyone thinks the mural is a welcoming sign. A conservative Facebook group has an issue with the women represented in the mural.
The group, the Kansas Republican Assembly, said “showcasing Muslim women does not reflect the history, culture or values of Overland Park.”
And they want residents to, “object to this twisting of our community values and history.” No one from the group would go on camera.
In a Facebook message to KCTV5 news, The Kansas Republican Assembly defined themselves as, “Republicans with traditional values and a strong belief in the wisdom of the founders original intent of the constitution.”
They did not however say who was in the group despite repeated questions about the demographics of membership.
Greenwood did not want to comment on the group’s statement. Instead, she commented on what she thinks the mural means.
“I see a lot of power and joy. I see peace,” Greenwood said.
There are other proposed murals, ones the Republican Assembly Group did not take issue with.
They will go near the farmer’s market. The murals depict Native Americans who lived in the area.
Urban Arthouse is spearheading the project. They got a $15,000 grant from the state for the art. None of the money for the mural to fill the space will come from city funds.