TOPEKA — A Topeka Metro bus is being transformed into a moving mural that will celebrate the 65th anniversary of the Brown v Board of Education Supreme Court case.
The bus wrap features artwork from the Brown v. Board mural that was completed this past summer on the south side of a building at S.E. 15th and Monroe. The mural's location is across the street from the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site.
Work on applying the Brown v. Board bus wrap was taking place on Tuesday morning in a maintenance facility at the Topeka Transit location at 201 N. Kansas Ave.
The official unveiling of the bus will take place at the "Brown v. Board 1954: Hear Our Voices" symposium, which will be from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, May 10, at the Topeka Performing Arts Center, 214 S.E. 8th Ave.
The bus will be in service again in three free public arts bus tours and four free public history bus tours during the 10 days of Brown v. Board 65th anniversary events, scheduled for May 10 to 19 in Topeka.
Topeka Metro officials said the wrap was made possible by a grant from ArtsConnect, which coordinated the work on the Brown v. Board mural last year. Topeka Metro has requested sponsorships to keep the bus wrapped for two years.
Susan Duffy, Topeka metro general manager, said the newly wrapped bus will be used at all of the Brown v. Board events this month. Duffy added that she hoped the bus will encourage people to visit the mural, located just south of downtown Topeka, and the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site at 1515 S.E. Monroe.
Keri L. Renner, director of marketing and communications for Topeka Metro, said the actual mural is so big that it couldn't be depicted in its entirety on the bus.
Renner said she was excited Topeka Metro was honoring the 65th anniversary of the Brown v. Board decision with the bus wrap.
"The Brown v. Board decision is so important to the city of Topeka," Renner said. "This is probably going to be our brightest bus that we've had. We're really excited about it."
Renner noted Topeka Metro also did a bus wrap in 2015 in honor with civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks, adding the new Brown v. Board bus is "kind of in the same vain."
"We're just really excited to get this out on the road," Renner said, "and I think there's gong to be a lot of people that are going to be taking pictures of this."
Sarah Fizell, executive director of ArtsConnect, said the mural depicted on the bus was an "exciting" one to paint, with many people in the Topeka community taking part in the project. She said she was thrilled that the mural now will be displayed on the bus as it travels to various points across the city.
Glenda Washington, senior vice president of entrepreneurial and minority business development for Go Topeka. said the new Brown v. Board bus is a reminder to local residents of the role their city played in a Supreme Court decision "that changed the whole world."
For information about Brown v. Board 65th anniversary events, go to www.bvb65.com.