Solidarity Mural

Solidarity Mural at Five Flags Civic Center
In response nationwide calls for change regarding the treatment of and policies towards communities of color, the City's Arts and Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission issued a statement reaffirming their commitment to using the power of arts and culture to make Dubuque a more connected, just, and inclusive community.

Soon after, the City was approached by Voices Productions and a local artist Shelby Fry to create the Solidarity Mural as a visual embodiment of unity and message of inclusiveness. City Manager, Michael C. Van Milligen approved the design for implementation on the East side of Five Flags Civic Center on Main Street in downtown Dubuque, providing the opportunity for that visual statement to be placed on a public building, demonstrating the City's support for Black Lives Matter and ongoing effort to inspire a change in the mindset of what Dubuque is and can be.

The Solidarity Mural, like other murals coming to life in communities around the country, proclaims that Dubuque is dedicated to working together to create an equitable community of choice so that all that want to call Dubuque home can and will have opportunity to thrive here. The Solidarity Mural also serves as an example of citizen's recognizing a problem in their community, those citizen's crafting a solution using their unique skill sets to begin to address that problem, and then taking action while inviting others to be part of the solution.

The mural was painted over the course of 6 days with one additional day on the front end for drawing out the design. 75+ community members volunteered in 1-hr shifts, going up to 35' in the air, to paint side-by-side with strangers, on this 105' wide and 25' tall paint-by-number public art piece.

The mural was funded through private donations of materials and cash. No City funding was used in the creation of this mural.

Download a printable, legal-sized information guide, (in English and Spanish) featuring a description of the mural's meaning and significance of the letters and symbols used to spell SOLIDARITY, along with a list of volunteers and major supporters.

Solidarity Mural YouTube Screenshot

Significance of the Mural's Letters and Symbols

  • S = Decorative only.
  • O = Formed by the wheel of a stylized version of the International Symbol for Access, intended to acknowledge cognitive and physical disabilities.
  • L = Decorative only with font choice referring to Dubuque’s diverse college programs.
  • I = The semicolon, especially as a tattoo on the wrist, has come to serve as message of affirmation and solidarity in the awareness and prevention of suicide, depression, addiction, and other brain health issues.
  • D = The rainbow, turned on its side to form the ‘D’ intends to represent the LGBTQ+ community.
  • A = Decorative only.
  • R = Decorative only.
  • I = The heart, as a universal symbol for love, dots the I to incorporate love, positivity, and respect for all humans in the mural design. The staff of the I is a decorative font only.
  • T = Decorative only.
  • Y = Combining the symbols traditional used to represent male, female, and transgender, the Y intends to acknowledge all identifications along the gender spectrum.