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East Hartford underpass brought to life honoring local women in mural

2,500 square feet celebrating "East Hartford heroes"

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. — The latest project from the Rise Up Group and CT Murals is meant to celebrate five inspirational women from East Hartford, and, nearly a month in, the picture is coming together.

Artists Michael Rice and Micaela Levesque have covered a lot of ground where the Founder’s Bridge Overpass and East River Drive meet. Rice and Levesque began working on their 125-foot-long by 20-foot-high mural on March 20 and the portraits of the women are now almost complete with more colors and designs being added to the background.

“We’re focusing it on five different women, all local East Hartford women who played a prominent role in racial equality and diversity and inclusion throughout the last several decades,” Rice said.

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From business owners to lawyers to former East Hartford Mayor Melody Currey, the mural is already stopping drivers and walkers who use East River Drive to get through town.

“I’m doing this in my own backyard, and it means a lot,” Levesque, who is from East Hartford, said. “East Hartford can be uplifted through color and positivity and history combined into a beautiful mural.”

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The multi-colored mural, which has yet to be titled, is set for an official unveiling on April 23 at 11 a.m.

Rice said that the mural sends a message to all who walk or drive by: “Seeing the community reaction, the engagement, it really has a transformative and powerful impact on the community.”

To learn more about the Rise Up Group projects across the state click here.

Jimmy Altman is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at jaltman@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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