Local committee hosts project to paint basketball courts

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

The Juneteenth ICT Committee started their Juneteenth holiday festivities with local artists and volunteers Friday at McAdams Park with a painting project.

Paint rollers began to decorate the concrete basketball courts with several colors, starting the committee's Juneteenth holiday festivities.

"It's nice, it's really nice," said Shawntrice Beard, a volunteer painter. "It's really bright, good colors, my kids are excited they're going to get out and get to painting to really soon."

The holiday is a celebration of June 19, 1865 when slaves were freed in the state of Texas. Shawntrice is one volunteer who is participating in the beginning of that celebration. She said her children go to a school right next to the park and her son wrote about it in school and got to help pick the design. She said since they also go their often they wanted to be a part of the big picture.

"I'm pretty sure they are going to take lots of pictures out here," she said. "We're going to be out here with them so I'm excited to see what the outcome of it is actually going to be."

The big picture being a retro look that was envisioned by artists such as Quintis Pinskton. The name McAdams and the colors they chose are ones things that Pinkston and some other artists designed so they could be seen from a far distance, and stand out to a viewer.

"The style of it, you know it's funky for the kids, the adults seem to like it, it seems like something that will go pretty good in this area," Pinkston said.

He said as a child, he spent several hours per week in this park, since he grew up in the area. He said he made a lot of memories that he hopes young children today can experience as well.

"This is just a way for us to give back and preserve some of what the memories that we have," he said. "And to send forward new memories for those that come around."

Juneteenth ICT has done previous projects since they have hosted the holiday at this park for four years. However, with this being an art project, they said none of the others will stick around like this one.

"We're taking the festival a step further by leaving our mark," said Danielle Johnson, the chair for the committee.

According to Johnson this project also gives the committee a chance to leave a message for anyone that attends or partakes in the festivities.

"Solidarity, education and empowerment," Johnson said. "We want to make sure that the community is aware of what American history is as well as celebrate and build community."

The project is slated through Sunday and volunteers can come out to help paint any time in that span.