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Gonzaga Students to Help Paint Mural for Nonprofit Restaurant


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Students in a Gonzaga University art seminar class will assist local artist Ellen Picken in painting a mural this weekend on the nonprofit restaurant “Fresh Soul,” which is being developed in the East Central neighborhood. Art Professor Shalon Parker is preparing the 22 students for the job by teaching them the history of mural painting in America, according to a press release.

“Fresh Soul” will employ local youth to provide them with skills and job experience. Michael Brown, founder and president of the Spokane Eastside Reunion Association, is spearheading the restaurant project as one way for the organization to address its mission to “restore and promote a revitalized sense of community” in city neighborhoods.

“God is making all of this possible,” Brown said in a press release.

“This mural for Fresh Soul reflects the desire of Gonzaga students to truly remain in solidarity with others,” said senior Rebecca Padilla in a news release. “The mural celebrates the vibrancy and diversity of its community, and I’m so excited to be involved in its completion.”

The Gonzaga students will paint the mural on the Fresh Soul building, located at 3029 E. Fifth Ave., from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 26 and Sunday, Sept. 27. The public is invited to help.


Tracy Simmons
Tracy Simmons
Tracy Simmons is an award-winning journalist specializing in religion reporting and digital entrepreneurship. In her approximate 20 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti. Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas, Connecticut and Washington. She is the executive director of FāVS.News, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Washington. She also writes for The Spokesman-Review and national publications. She is a Scholarly Assistant Professor of Journalism at Washington State University.

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