Clarksdale Gets Some Cultural Capital Thanks to American Express

Clarksdale, MS


Clarksdale was once known as the Gem of the Delta, a center for culture and economy at the beginning of the 20th century. As times changed, so did Clarksdale. Once a thriving urban district, many of its buildings are now rundown with barren and abandoned walls. Although the physical structures are in need of some love, the soul of the town and community are still very strong.


Enters, stage left American Express. Set out to teach Financial responsibility to local students, came in as a generous sponsor to develop a mural meant to capture the aspirations of the community. Clarksdale is the home of the Delta Blues; upon entering the town you hear blues music permeating into the streets at all hours of the day. Classic clubs like Ground Zero Blues Club and Reds have music every night throughout the week, and draw tourists from every corner of the planet.


Beautify Earth stepped into Clarksdale early May to install a single mural across from the Ground Zero Blues Club. What happened was far beyond what we could have hoped for. The community came out and shared their dreams with us; they sang from their hearts and they showed us what art can do to bring people together.


“It’s more than just art on a wall. It’s about how the murals can increase community vitality, which really goes along with our mission, and they have a whole economic development report that shows how when you beautify spaces, it increases property value, people will be more likely to shop at local businesses, it increases awareness of the different projects, organizations and increases activity in those areas. I wanted to do a mural with CCAC is because we can communicate the mission of this place through a huge mural on the side of the build-ing, which comes out of a community engagement process.” CRI coordinator Katrina Zavalney.

There are millions of communities that need some love and inspiration and a little bit of paint can go a long way. Help create another success story like this in a community near...or not near you.

Sponsor a mural here!

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