Hawthorne will be home to peace mural dedicated to Sonia Sanchez

You may have noticed fewer and fewer Peace is a Haiku Song vinyl posters in subway stations and bus shelters around the city, but rest assured, the project is not over.

Sunday, Mural Arts dedicated the wall at 1425 Christian Street where artists Josh Sarantitis and Parris Stancell will install the Peace is a Haiku Song mural that will incorporate both visuals and select haikus written by famous poets, Philadelphia residents and contributors from around the world who submitted haikus to the Peace is the Haiku Song project over the past year.

The Peace is a Haiku Song initiative began in November 2011 when Mural Arts in collaboration with Sonia Sanchez kicked off a series encouraging poets and citizens around the world to create and submit their own peace haikus. Some were displayed around the city, and a handful were chosen for the mural that will be created at 1425 Christian Street during the fall and winter.

This final mural in South Philly honors the literary contributions, legacy and life of Sanchez, Philadelphia’s first poet laureate and a long time peace activist.

“I wanted to do a mural where our children could see themselves, so we could begin to instigate peace,” Sanchez said at a Peace is a Haiku Song celebration at City Hall earlier this month.

The mural at 1425 Christian Street will celebrate the life, work and legacy of Philadelphia's first poet laureate Sonia Sanchez
(The mural at 1425 Christian Street will celebrate the life, work and legacy of Philadelphia's first poet laureate Sonia Sanchez)

At the mural celebration Sunday, guests had the opportunity to paint portions of the mural, decorate pumpkins and fold paper cranes. Mural Arts hosted musicians, singers, dancers and speakers, including Sanchez, who spoke on peace and the importance of creating peace in Philadelphia.

“Sometimes I don’t think Philadelphia understands how powerful it is,” Sanchez said. “This is a powerful city!”

This event was part of Mural Arts Month 2012, which ends Oct. 31. Remaining events include a tour of selections from the African American Iconic Collection, and a celebration of The Roots Mural Project.

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