North Richmond block party on Friday to celebrate mural debut

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A community-driven effort to beautify a central North Richmond grocer will culminate on Friday with a block party.

From 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., a new mural covering the exterior of the Rancho Market & Deli at 500 Market Ave. is set to debut, and there will be food, music, live performances, kids activities and resource booths.

The photo above of the mural-in-progress was taken May 3 and posted by the Richmond Love Your Block Initiative, which partnered with Supervisor John Gioia’s office and the store’s owner to beautify one of North Richmond’s only grocers that doesn’t sell alcohol. The store is also a resource for parents and children at nearby Verde Elementary.

The project ballooned into a true community effort in which volunteers and several local businesses chipped in, including Kelly-Moore Paints in San Pablo, and Home Depot in El Cerrito.

The mural, called “Fabric of Unity,” was funded through a Richmond Arts & Culture Commission Neighborhood Block grant. At Friday’s block party, lead artist Richard Salazar, assistant lead Agana Espinoza and youth apprentices will be on hand to introduce the artwork, which was created following a multi-month community process.

The mural honors “North Richmond’s rich history and brilliant future,” organizers said.

In support of Friday’s event, even more community helping hands joined. Supporters include Left Right & Bear Handed, RecycleMore, Republica Services, Rich City Rides, Sunnyside Organic Seedlings, Urban Tilth, and Las Montanas Supermarket.

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