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St. Louis Artists Respond To Ferguson With Chalk

The #ChalkedUnarmed team creates its artwork on the sidewalks outside of St. Louis Public Radio.
Alex Heuer
St. Louis Public Radio

A group of artists are using chalk to inspire conversations about the shooting death of Michael Brown.

#ChalkedUnarmed draws chalk outlines of people on public sidewalks or plazas. The artist then adds the name of an unarmed black man who was killed by a police officer, with the date and location of his death.

Derek Laney, an organizer with Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment, and Mallory Nezam, director of STL Improv Anywhere and a public artist, joined us Friday to talk about #ChalkedUnarmed.

“I’ve always been interested in using art to engage the public and get people involved in things that I think are important,” Nezam said.

Before the interview, a team of #ChalkedUnarmed enthusiasts tagged the sidewalk outside of St. Louis Public Radio.

“This is about an issue that is rampant, its epidemic – black men being killed by police and being racially profiled,” Laney said.

Cityscape is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer and sponsored in part by the Missouri Arts Council, the Regional Arts Commission, and the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis.

Alex is the executive producer of "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.