In 2007, Emily Gunter was invited to serve as the organization’s director. Gunter, who runs the after-school program and helps with the rites of passage and inter-generational programs for grandparents and their grandchildren, believes that her work is transforming the area.
“It really feeds my life,” Gunter said. “This is so exciting. At 64, a lot of my peers are no longer able to give and only receive because of their health. Being with the children keeps me young.”
A mother of four grown children, Gunter, who lives in Overtown, is a retired engineer and teacher.
Gunter is leading the mural project at Dorsey Park, 1701 NW First Ave. The project includes murals painted by young local artists portraying the baseball greats from the Negro League, including star pitcher Satchel Paige. During the days of segregation, Dorsey Park was the only place Negro and Cuban players were allowed to play ball.
Gunther’s son, artist/illustrator Kadir Nelson, is the author and artist behind the award-winning book, We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball Told Through the Original Paintings.
Should the organization win the grant, she hopes to continue to work with young artists to create murals. They launched the fall youth mural program on Friday.
“It helps them to know their history and who they are, especially in this neighborhood,” she said. “Someone said to me the other day that this art project has been one of the most popular things in Overtown, especially happening to the children.”
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