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In November 2012, Bryant and I were invited to participate in a community revitalization day festival, the Paint McComb-Veazey Wonderful Street Painting Festival.   I knew this was a perfect opportunity to serve our community and bring beauty to the lives of our brothers and sisters thru art.

The project was sponsored by the neighborhood coterie.  A cohesive group of talented and caring neighbors, who bonded together to make their homes and lives better, not only for themselves but for all residents of the neighborhood.   The initiative is a long term commitment for the coterie, local businesses and residents of McComb-Veazey.  

The day’s events included the painting of a street mural by kids and residents of the community, live expressions of art thru poetry readings, gospel and hip hop artists performances, motivational speakers and vendors offering handcrafted items. 

I was blessed to meet so many talented people in one place:  artists, singers and recording artists, a playwright, educators and historians.  I didn’t meet these brothers and sisters on “Main Street” America.  I met them on “Real Street” America.  All, so very passionate and driven in their talent.  Working on plans, dreams and projects to bring those dreams to reality.    It’s a beautiful thing.  The spirit of the day moved me.  It was a spirit of unity and community. 

When you lift yourself up first, you can then lift up others around you.  We must support ourselves and our own.  Each one of us elevating to our true potential.  That’s the way to build a strong community that thrives. 

Peace to you McComb-Veazey…

Joey Benoit