Featured: Lilyann Danko, 12th grade student and Desiree Kelly, artist
MICHIGAN – (May 26, 2022) – Artwork created by two high school students from Flint and Saginaw is now on display at some local McDonald’s restaurants. The displays are the culmination of a program called “A Celebration of Culture & Community.” Students at high schools in Flint, Saginaw, Detroit and Grand Rapids were tasked with creating a mural that best reflects their city’s culture. Each winner’s artwork will be on display inside a restaurant in their hometown.
In Flint, the piece created by Mott Middle College High School Lilyann Danko will be on display at the McDonald’s restaurant at 1831 Dort Highway. In Saginaw, a piece created by Donovan Burt, a student at Saginaw Arthur Hill High School, will be displayed at the restaurant at 1454 N. Michigan Avenue. On top of her art being displayed, both Danko and Burt were award $1,500 in scholarship money courtesy of McDonald’s of Michigan. The art programs at Mott Middle College High School and Saginaw Arthur Hill High School also received $1,000 each.
“McDonald’s is committed to celebrating culture in every community that it serves,” says Flint-area McDonald’s owner/operator Rob Spangler.
“No more is that evident here in Flint than through our Black and Positively Golden efforts where we are illuminating people and organizations who uplift and engage in their neighborhoods,” Spangler added. “Our commitment is also to celebrate people who use education and mentorship to help build the next generation of Black excellence.”
School and community leaders were on hand at each event. In Flint, representatives from the Office of the Mayor were able congratulate Danko and speak about the role the arts are playing within the city.
This program also included renowned Michigan artist Desiree Kelly. Kelly’s work can be seen in Flint at the Flint Institute of Arts and throughout the state of Michigan at locations including the Coleman Young Municipal building, Eastern Market and the Permanent Collection of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. Kelly joined each participating school’s art class via Zoom to offer some important and valuable lessons about mural art.
“Murals are an important way to tell a community’s story,” said Kelly. “(And) art in schools helps kids develop a sense of confidence in who they are, their decision making and even risk taking. We can only hope that this conversation through art in our neighborhoods will continue to inspire more young artists to come forward.”
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