Volunteers and Donors Join Forces for New Downtown Mural
When deciding how to commemorate their tenth anniversary, Fox Valley Jewish Neighbors chose to do something lasting for the community they call home.
“We have enjoyed being a part of downtown Geneva and have been welcomed by the surrounding community,” said FVJN president Greg Cibura, “when a mural was suggested, we thought it was a great way to do something everyone could enjoy.”
The result is the large, six panel mural now located just off Geneva’s Third Street in the alley across from the courthouse. The mural was dedicated on June 6 in a celebration attended officials from the City and community organizations, FVJN families and friends, and Geneva residents and business owners. The mural was designed by artist Danielle Dobies and based on drawings by children from FVJN’s Sunday School and ideas from FVJN members. FVJN families and friends volunteered countless hours to assemble the mosaic tiles under the artist’s direction. Area businesses and individuals donated some of the materials. Funding to cover other costs was obtained through a grant from the Geneva Foundation for the Arts as well as donations from other FVJN supporters. The mural took over a year to complete.
Once the panels had been completed inside, the mural was professionally installed on the side of the building at 121 S. Third Street. Volunteers then painstakingly grouted all of the tile, first applying the grout and then cleaning off the excess. The process took many hours, but also gave the public an opportunity to witness some of the work and learn the story behind the project.
FVJN draws its families largely from the Tri-Cities area and the group wanted the mural to reflect the values that they share with the surrounding community. The panels include symbols of peace, diversity, education, family and ancestry, the sharing of celebrations, and appreciation of the natural and manmade beauty and resources of the area.