Downtown buildings will display art made for a king beginning next week.

The United Way of York County will host the second annual Downtown Positive Art Initiative, featuring artwork created to mark Martin Luther King Day.

The artwork, including drawings and paintings from close to 100 students from schools throughout the county, will be displayed downtown beginning Tuesday.

The art program from the local Jewish Community Center also will submit pieces to display, said Kristen Clinedinst, youth volunteer initiative coordinator with the United Way.

Civil rights leader King was born Jan. 15, 1929, and assassinated April 5, 1968.

"Through their art, the students are expressing their understanding of Dr. King's message and his 'I Have a Dream' speech," Clinedinst said. "The (speech), his messages in general of serving others, the things he shared have caused him to continue to be recognized and known even to this day."

More than a dozen organizations and businesses will display the art, including Big Brothers Big Sisters, Child Care Consultants, New Hope Ministries, Bell Socialization, MidPenn Legal Services, Central Family Restaurant and Cherrie Anne Designs.

The King artwork will be displayed until the end of January before being returned to the artists who created it, Clinedinst said.


A mural, too: The United Way also will display "Unlock the American Dream," a mural featuring the sketching created by York City artist Tiedra Marshall.

The sketch shows people climbing a tree, symbolizing their desires to work toward and reach for greater things in life, Clinedinst said.

"Last year we painted murals on windows throughout the city, and this year we're doing a different approach on canvases," said Elyshia Menkin, director of SecureCorps, an AmeriCorps program.

Individuals are invited to add things to the mural that incorporate King's dream along with their own definition of community.

Blank canvases will be available for anyone interested in creating a piece by themselves or with a group.

The project will take place at the United Way, 800 E. King St. from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday.

People are also welcome to complete a canvas of any size before Saturday and drop it off at the United Way.

The mural will be displayed at York City Hall beginning Tuesday. City Hall can display the mural for 90 days before passing it along to Family First Health, Clinedinst said.

"It will become a traveling piece throughout York," she said. "We hope all the pieces on display this month will encourage people to consider how they are involved in their communities and what they could be doing."

-- Staff writer Chelsea Shank contributed to this story. Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at