New Mural Showcasing Wheaton’s Diversity Will Debut in July

A vivid mural featuring multicultural dancers will be displayed outside the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission’s headquarters on Reedie Drive in Wheaton. It is expected to debut in July.

The winning mural was selected by an online community vote in March in which 11,703 votes were cast for three different mural designs, according to the Montgomery County Planning Department. The winning design garnered more than 60% of the votes and was designed by Nicole Bourgea of Kensington.

There were 28 submissions, which were narrowed to the three that were voted on.

“The Wheaton HQ Mural Project has truly been a community effort from start to finish,” wrote Montgomery Planning Director Gwen Wright in a press release. “We are grateful to have had so many skilled artists submit their qualifications to paint a mural outside of our headquarters. Public art is meant to build community and generate discussion. We believe we have accomplished this through the public’s overwhelming participation in selecting the winning mural design.”

Bourgea described her winning piece as “a bold, colorful celebration of the fact that while we dance to our own beats, we all smile in the same language.” She added, “We come from diverse multicultural legacies with unique perspectives and various abilities, but we each have an important gift to offer with our life.”

Bourgea’s son has Down syndrome, and “loves to dance. To see him dance – overcome with joy and the need to move his body to express that joy—is to know unequivocally that the most human thing we can do is to live fully alive!,” she said.

The mural will be located on the outside of the 14-story M-NCPPC Wheaton headquarters, which opened in August 2020. It houses the headquarters of Montgomery Planning and Montgomery Parks as well as other county agencies. The mural will be placed on the building’s north-facing concrete block wall, adjacent to an existing surface parking lot owned by the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT), between Triangle Lane and Grandview Avenue.

The Wheaton HQ Mural Project is funded by Stonebridge Development, the private partner who helped to build the Wheaton headquarters.

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About Suzanne Pollak

Suzanne is a freelance reporter with Montgomery Community Media. She has over 35 years professional experience writing for newspapers, magazines, non-profit newsletters and the web.

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