‘Brown Ballerinas for Change’ inspire new mural in Richmond’s Fan neighborhood

Positively Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – The now-viral photos of ballerinas in front of the Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond is inspiring a new mural in the Fan neighborhood.

The mural, which can be found at the intersection of Granby and Main Street in Richmond, depicts four teen ballerinas – Sophia Chambliss, Kennedy George, Shania Gordon and Ava Holloway – using their love of dance for social justice.

The mural sits at Granby and Main Street in Richmond. (Photo: Delaney Hall, 8News Reporter)

“Us being uplifting and looking towards a better year, and just looking towards change,” Holloway told 8News.

Since the viral photos were taken over the summer by Richmond Photographer Marcus Ingram, the group has formed a non-profit called Brown Ballerinas for Change to create advocacy and increase participation in underrepresented populations in ballet.

“We want to diversify dance, and just make it more accessible to everyone,” Holloway told 8News.

Artists Monty Montgomery and Nico Cathcart said the new mural depicts all four ballerinas leading the way and being a voice for change.

Richmond dancers come together at the Robert E. Lee monument on June 5, 2020, after Northam’s announcement to take it down as soon as possible. (Kennedy George on the left, Ava Holloway on the right. Photo: Marcus Ingram Photography)

“Brown Ballerinas for Change for a while – they have been a giant inspiration to me,” Cathcart told 8News. “The America I want to live in is what they kind of embody to me.”

Chambliss hopes the artwork starts a positive conversation.

“I think that us promoting a change in such a positive way really gets to people who might not have agreed to the situation in the first place,” Chambliss said. “I think the purpose of what we’re doing is similar to what’s on the mural because we’re doing something in a positive way.”

The group poses in front of the mural. (Photo: Delaney Hall, 8News Reporter)

Gordon hopes the art and their efforts inspire others to make a positive change.

“It makes me feel really inspired to know that I can really touch people and any one can be that role model for others that maybe some of us didn’t have before,” Gordon said.

To learn more about Brown Ballerinas For Change, click here.

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