Organizers of Black Lives Mural in Torrington going through municipal red tape

Torrington City Seal
Torrington City Seal

TORRINGTON — By the time spring comes around, there may be a Black Lives Matter mural at the City Hall public parking lot, located at the corner of Main Street and City Hall Avenue.
However, organizers of the proposed mural are currently dealing with a myriad of municipal red tape.
Angaza Mwando is the Chairman of the city’s Cultural Affairs Committee and the leader of the Our Culture is Beautiful organization.
In an interview with the Winsted Phoenix, Mwando said that he has been trying to get the city to approve the mural project for more than six months.
“I just wish we would have known all of the procedures to get this done beforehand,” Mwando said.
Mwando said that the plans for the mural project have so far been reviewed by five different municipal boards and commissions: the Cultural Affairs Committee, the City Council, the Public Safety Committee, and recently the city’s Engineering Department.
“Originally, we were told that it was okay to seek funding for the mural,” Mwando said. “Now we’re being told that if we seek funding, then it has to be according to the standards of the city.”
He said that, despite dealing with the red tape, he hopes that work on the mural project will begin in the spring.
“The Black Lives Matter mural will be a representation of diversity in the Torrington community,” he said. “We want Torrington to be inclusive and all cultures to be represented.”
Tamara Williams is on the Cultural Affairs Committee and is helping to organize the mural project.
“The mural will be an important message because it sends a message that Torrington is diverse, open, and welcoming of all of the people that live here,” Williams said. “It’s a very public way for Torrington to acknowledge that systematic racism is a problem in our state and country. It’s a way to incorporate artwork and express what people are going through.”
Williams said that it will take at least 16 artists to create the mural.
Neither Williams nor Mwando could give an estimate on the proposed size of the mural, but both of them did say that the mural would take up the entire center area of the parking lot when completed.
Artists who would like to take part in the project can contact the committee at