November 20, 2020
Dear friends and neighbors,
The outpouring of support from our immediate community and farther afield in response to the defacing of our beautiful mural has been overwhelming. I am moved by your love and encouragement. Rocky Cotard, the mural’s artist, and I are deeply saddened and hurt by this hateful act. In a time when we are all surviving on the finest wisps of hope, the degradation of this optimistic, celebratory work of art seems even more callous and pointless.
And it compounds the stresses that I already bear as a small woman-owned business struggling to stay open. That said, both Rocky and I want you to know that we continue to look forward with hope and resolve. Representative John Lewis modeled many valuable lessons, among them that outrage without purpose and action does not move us forward. I encourage you to find ways to channel your sadness and outrage at this incident into positive change. We all have the power to face hard conversations with open hearts and minds, stand up for what is right and just and to change the world that we live in for the better.
We too will do our part. Rocky intends to start the restoration process early next week. He will be working with a local art conservator who has generously offered his time and expertise. If you are in the neighborhood on Monday or Tuesday, please stop by and say hello.
Our work doesn’t end there. My intention at Urban Hearth has always been to create a space where people gather around a table and share not only in a meal but also in conversation, ideas and community. I am currently working with local community leaders to put together a virtual dinner gathering which we will host shortly after Thanksgiving. The focus of this facilitated conversation is still in development. My hope is that we can host an open and productive conversation about how each of us can create change that supports justice, equity and inclusion in our own communities. We will offer a family-style meal from Urban Hearth, for those who want to order. Proceeds from the night will go towards programs that support these values.
Stay tuned for more news about this event. Wishing you all a safe and joyful Thanksgiving.
Chef & Owner