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Police Force and Local Community Connect Through Art

Lauren Sega Lauren Sega Police Force and Local Community Connect Through ArtAll photos by Trey Barkett / provided by Warhol & Wall St / Change Starts Here.
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Police accountability and community involvement is improving relations between the two, according to a public awareness campaign headed by Warhol and Wall Street.

The campaign, “Change Starts Here,” connects the public with real Ohioans who have been involved in the effort to improve community-police relations. Participants filled in the blank with their own idea about where change should start. Photos and videos of police officers, pastors, youth leaders and involved community members offer every perspective on the issue.

“Change means actions, start means now, and here can be anywhere,” said Yohannan Terrell, CEO of Warhol and Wall Street. “Change starts here means change actually needs to take place within all of us.”

Ohio’s Task Force on Community and Police Relations, first announced in 2014, accepted Warhol and Wall Street’s bid to launch a campaign that shows the public how relations have improved since then.

Riding through different parts of Ohio, photographer Trey Barkett captured images like Autumn’s, who filled in the blank, “Change starts when we have conversations before conversations need to be had.”

The idea was to let the people speak for the campaign that would educate other people. With that in mind, Terrell searched for a venue for the art that would allow for the most interaction. This need spurred a partnership between Warhol and Wall Street and the Short North Alliance so the art could be displayed during Gallery Hop, this Saturday, June 4.

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“We viewed it as an important opportunity to showcase something that we think is an important issue, as well as some great work by a local artist,” said Betsy Pandora, Executive Director of the Short North Alliance.

Between 4pm and 10pm this Saturday, images and videos will be showcased in the former Rigsby’s space, and people can use the on-site photo booth to create their own “Change Starts Here” poster.

So far, Terrell said the message has been mostly about police accountability and transparency and more community involvement.

“A lot of the stuff we do is more reaction,” Terrell said. “Instead of being proactive, we’re reactive.”

These ideas look back on the deadly police-citizen conflicts Ohio has had. Participants use the police killings of Tamir Rice, from Cleveland and John Crawford III, from Dayton, as examples of this reactive nature.

“We really felt so passionate about this campaign that we were thinking, ‘How can we find a way where people can see this beautiful collection of powerful statements all at once so that they can really feel the impact of how these conversations were connected,” Terrell said.

Pandora said it turned out more artistic than anyone anticipated. Its starting point was findings from the taskforce’s collaborative report, released in 2015.

For more information, visit www.warholandwallst.com.

All photos by Trey Barkett / provided by Warhol & Wall St / Change Starts Here.

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