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Newport Historical Preservation, NKU unveil historic murals at Newport History Museum

The city of Newport’s Historic Preservation department collaborated with students from Northern Kentucky University to create historic murals on the 200 block of East Southgate Street to enhance the Newport History Museum.

Mayor Peluso and NKU President Vaidya

Yesterday, they revealed the murals during a ceremony with remarks from Newport Mayor Jerry Peluso and NKU President Ashish Vaidya.

During the NKU Fall 2018 semester, students in Kevin Muente’s painting class became real-world collaborators as Newport leaders began planning an Arts Zone around the former Southgate Street School. The murals are placed in window frames on the back of the Steinhauser Printing building.

The murals focus on aspects of the city’s history and culture. One looks at floods, one at the “Sin City” era, one at fire fighting and one at the historic Southgate Street school. 

The school is an important building in the city’s history. Until desegregation in the 1950s, it was a “blacks only” school and served as a beacon of opportunity in the African American community. It has a second life as an African American Masonic Lodge. 

In 2017, it was reborn again as a museum of the city’s history with support from Newport Foundation, Inc.
NKU students, in a variety of classes, have been partners in launching the museum. The latest engagement challenged four classes in our School of the Arts (SOTA) to produce public art for the museum and its vicinity. 
Mark Neikirk, Executive Director of Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement at NKU coordinated this project with the city’s Historic Preservation Department.

The murals

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