Martin Luther King Mural Project with RiseUp for Arts

MLK Mural Flyer


RiseUP for Arts is partnering with Hamden’s Department of Arts, Culture, Recreation and Wellness, Hamden’s Arts Commission, Hamden Public Library, local businesses, organizations, and community members in Hamden to create a large-scale public art mural that will celebrate the diversity and cultures of the community and highlight the messages of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

The MLK39 Racial Equity Mural in Hamden is part of RiseUP's state-wide mural tour to paint 39 MLK-themed community murals across Connecticut, one for every year of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life. Hamden will be the 16th town to produce an MLK39 Racial Equity Mural, with more murals planned across the state throughout 2023 and 2024. Each MLK39 Racial Equity Mural is inspired by the community. Hamden residents participated in a mural design survey that guided the mural design. 

Learn more about the statewide MLK39 project here:


Dr. King shared his message directly with the Hamden community when he visited Congregation Mishkan Israel in the early 60's. 


Artist Emida Roller will be painting this mural on the Dixwell-facing side of Miller Memorial Library at 2901 Dixwell Ave in Hamden, with the help of local artists and community participants.

Emida has created colorful, large-scale murals throughout the US. View examples of Emida's work here:

Read Emida's interview about her involvement as an artist in other MLK Mural projects throughout Connecticut:

Community paint days, in which the community will be invited to participate in the painting of the mural, will be scheduled soon.

Hamden’s MLK39 Racial Equity Mural is set to be revealed at the town’s Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday June 17th. 


Hamden’s Arts Commission has generously donated $5,000. We are looking to raise an additional $7,500 from individual donors to reach our goal. This mural project has been approved by nonprofit Sustainable CT, and their Community Match Fund will double that amount to $15,000, as long as we have contributions from 75 individual or unique donors. The deadline to reach our goal and secure Sustainable CT’s matching funds is March 31st, 2023.

  1. Donate directly to the RiseUP for Arts Patronicity Project Link:
    All donations go straight to the RiseUp for Arts organization. RiseUp for Arts manages all donation accounts independently of the Town of Hamden. 
  2. Mail a Check:
    Personal checks can be mailed directly to The RiseUP Group, Inc., 942 Main Street, Hartford, CT, 06103 with “Hamden MLK” noted on the check description line. 
  3. Become a Public Sponsor
    Sponsorship opportunities are available for individuals and businesses. Please review the sponsor levels and benefits below. Please contact Matt Conway at for sponsorship opportunities.
    • Hamden MLK Mural Sponsorship Benefits

All money raised through the GoFundMe link goes directly to the RiseUP for Arts non-profit organization to fund this project (RiseUP manages all donation accounts independently from the Town of Hamden). 

The budget for this project includes opportunities for community engagement; a reveal celebration ceremony; a community conversation to build more inclusive communities; the cost of the professional artist; and materials/supplies to complete the mural project.

Commenting on the placement of the mural, Hamden Public Library Director Melissa Canham-Clyne states, "This mural is ageless and timeless. As it will be created by people of all ages and background, it is ageless. As a historical tribute to Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement, it is timeless. It is a reminder that knowledge is powerfully transformative. As the knowledge center of the town, the Hamden Public Library is honored to be chosen as the host of this mural."

Lushonda Howard, Chair of Hamden’s Arts Commission, remarks, “It is our vision that this mural will not only bring cultural and historic relevance to our community, but also inspire and bring joy to all who view it.”

Karen Bivens, Director of Arts, Culture, Recreation and Wellness, adds, “This project has been in the works for a while. We are very excited to finally bring it to fruition. It will be a beautiful work of art to represent the history and diversity of Hamden.”


For more information about the Statewide campaign visit:

For further information, please contact:

Karen Bivens, Director of Arts, Culture, Recreation and Wellness, at (203) 287-2579 or by email at

Lushonda Howard, Chair of Hamden’s Arts Commission, at (203) 287-7061 or by email at

Matt Conway, RiseUP for Arts, by email at