The Whitley County Community Green Dot program and the City of Williamsburg have been working since November to have a mural erected downtown to raise awareness about the problem of violence and to promote the city.
Local Artist Hilary Baker used the dot as inspiration, interspersing more than 250 of them with words of encouragement in her butterfly wings.
As part of the work, Baker sought public participation, inviting members of the community to come to Cumberland River Behavior Health’s adolescent and child clinic to select a color and paint a dot.
“Green follows green dot, and teal is the color of the violence prevention ribbon. I wanted to stick with colors that went with those colors.” Baker said when asked about the available colors.
Over the course of two days, approximately 100 people, including Corbin Mayor Suzie Razmus, came by to lend a hand.
Baker said children, as young as 3 and 4, up to senior citizens have stopped by to paint a dot.
“I wanted something interactive that people could participate in,” Baker said.
Baker said she would color in any remaining dots.
Baker said the canvass is sign painters board that is used in a lot of billboards, and the paint is exterior paint, making the finished product resistant to the weather.
“I will also do a graffiti proof varnish on top,” Baker said.
Interspersed with the dots are sayings, such as the familiar, “Williamsburg, feels like home!”
Baker said with just the wings, people will be able to stand at the center for pictures.
“I thought it was something that would get people to come to Williamsburg,” Baker said.
The mural will be installed on a white wall at the corner of Main Street and Fourth Street.
Green Dot is a violence prevention program in which participants are taught how to recognize potentially dangerous situations and how to intervene in a way that is safe and comfortable for them.
It was developed at the University of Kentucky in 2006. It was then expanded into high schools across the state of Kentucky in 2009.
In a five-year research project between the University of Kentucky, the Center for Disease Control, and the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs, Green Dot was found to reduce the rates of perpetration of sexual violence by up to 50 percent.
More information is available on the Cumberland River Green Dot Facebook page.