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Historic Murals Created by NKU Students Unveiled in Newport

New murals debuted in Newport this week.

The city's historic preservation department collaborated with students from Northern Kentucky University to create historic murals on the 200 block of east Southgate Street to enhance the Newport History Museum.

Newport Mayor Jerry Peluso and NKU president Ashish Vaidya spoke at the unveiling ceremony Tuesday.

Last semester at NKU, students in Kevin Muente’s painting class became real-world collaborators as Newport leaders began planning an Arts Zone around the former Southgate Street School. The murals are placed in window frames on the back of the Steinhauser Printing building.

The murals focus on aspects of the city's history and culture. One looks at floods, one at the "Sin City" era, one at firefighting, and one at the historic Southgate Street school. 

The school is an important building in the city’s history. Until the 1950s, the school served the city's black students who were not allowed to attend schools with white students until desegregation.

It then became an African-American Masonic Lodge.

The city converted the property into a museum in 2017 with support from the Newport Foundation.

NKU students, in a variety of classes, have been partners in launching the museum.

Mark Neikirk, Executive Director of Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement at NKU coordinated this project with the city’s Historic Preservation Department.

-Staff report

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