The organization Education is Not A Crime has created campaigns through art in New York City over the years in an effort to bring the plight of those banned from teaching or studying in Iranian universities to the World. Once again, #NotACrime and the curator and producer of this project, Street Art Anarchy, have arrived in Harlem.
This year’s campaign will be two large-scale murals, honoring Dizzy Gillespie on the day that would have been his 100th Birthday, with their historic signature of adding children and books within the mural – their message, that #EducationIsNotACrime, and these murals are completed annually, just prior to the opening of the United Nations General Assembly.
This year, the 72nd regular session of the UN General Assembly will convene, with a focus on the theme “Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet.”
A decent life for all includes Education. #NotACrime
“Dizzy, who was a Baha’i, led a his life of championing the oneness of humanity, and was a testament to his artistic beliefs and his faith. His story is a perfect icon of what Education is Not A Crime stands for: the power of art to promote education for all.”
@BMIKE, or Brandan Odums (from New Orleans) of Studio Be, created one of the five-story murals of a young Dizzy. The bottom part of his mural, with yellow background, is filled with images, wording and signatures from people in the neighborhood, who have walked by, and larger images created by the artist based on the album cover, “Gene Norman Presents Dizzy Gillespie in Concert.” In addition to his website, you can also follow Brandan Odums on Instagram.
Harlem-based artist, Marthalicia Matarrita created her five-story Dizzy, surrounded by a sea of clouds. In keeping with the #NotACrime tradition, below, are images of children in a classroom setting. You might recognize her name from her Black Vulture’s as part of the Audubon Mural Project (2014) and as a participant in the Harlem Arts Festival, Heath Gallery/Public Art Initiative, among other exhibits and projects.
You can also follow Marthalicia on Instagram.
The double Dizzy Murals by #NotACrime can be found at 229 West 135th Street between Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd and Frederick Douglass Blvd, North side of the street. The unveiling and celebration will be held on the day of his birth, October 21st. Continue to follow #EducationIsNotACrime on Facebook.