Houston's largest mural shines light on city's hunger problem

Spanning five stories and 13,000 square feet, the largest mural in the city shines a light on poverty and the hope of never having to go hungry again.

Video Transcript

- Well, there's a new mural in downtown Houston shining the spotlight on the fight to end hunger. The zero hunger mural was created by internationally known muralist Dragon 76. That mural is 13,000 square feet. Wow. It is now the largest mural in the city of Houston. It also supports the United Nations World Food Program and the UN's sustainable development goal.

- That poverty is the root cause of hunger. You can't solve the hunger crisis without solving the poverty crisis. And it takes more than charity, it takes equity.

- You can find the zero hunger mural on the west side of the Hampton Inn and Suites downtown. That's at 710 Crawford Street.

- We want to introduce to you the individuals who are leading this project. And let me tell you, they are humble, but they're giants. I see Craig and Stephanie Howard here. They giving back to him it. All started with Mr. Clinton and others. But I want to say to you that when you think about people who really live to serve, think of the next two names, you'd not the here. I'm introducing now Mrs. Devaughn Decker and Mrs. Arbery Decker, co-founders of Street Art For Mankind. Let me tell you, Houston ought to give you a shout, because we are proud of the work that you do. Ladies and gentlemen, receive Street Art For Mankind, the founders, the Deckers.

- Wow. Let me start maybe by thanking everyone for coming today. I think it's needed. Thank you for showing up. Thank you for being here the entire 14 days that we've been painting. We've really seen the soul of Houston, and it's been a blast, believe me, every single day. So first, I'd like to thank, of course, Mayor Turner for coming, for being the leader that you are, and allowing us to be here. Rodney, commissioner Rodney Halis, yes, for showing us the soul of this city against the bank, and then taking us into what I believe was probably one of the best experiences we've ever had in a city so far. So thank you. Thank you for that, really.

Thank you also, for, for this beautiful campus, which is the biggest we've seen so far. That we had a blast painting with Black in '76. And honestly, it's, it's a beautiful wall, even without the painting before. And a big applause also for Josh, Josh Decker who's probably somewhere here and, from the hotel, who, really, thanks to you, thanks. We have a campus. So thank you.

My name is Tebo Decker, and we're over here, as, as Bishop Nixon said, we are the co-founders of the nonprofit called Street Art For Mankind. So we dare to believe-- so what is Street Art for Mankind? We dare to believe that, actually, art has the power to bring people together, uplift, and start a conversation. So we started a few, few years ago around child trafficking by jumping in and starting doing murals across the world to attract attention, to bring people together, and start a conversation.

Since then, we've been doing murals across the world and here in Houston on many social topics, which are dear our heart and we think are important for everyone. Because we do believe that each one of you are going to make a difference. Yes, it's great to have leadership, but at the end, it comes to every single one of us making a statement, sharing, and saying you care to make a difference. And that's what we believe in. Enough of me speaking anyway. So I'm going to I'm going to pass the baton to Audrey so she can talk a bit more about that zero hunger mural behind me and the cause and everything around that. Thank you.

- Hi, everybody. So, yeah. So what is this huge zero hunger mural about? So this zero hunger mural about made by incredible artist Dragon 76 right here. Big applause. So this mural is here, as we all know, to raise awareness on the hunger. And it's made in support of the work, of the work of the United Nations World Food Program. So you may know WFP because they got the Nobel Peace Prize in 2020 for the incredible work they do to eradicate hunger by 2030.

So why hunger? Because, you know, the United Nations have 17 sustainable development goals, and as Tebo was mentioning, we do work on many of them with the UN doing these murals. And they did too, zero hunger. It's a very, very important one. Why? Because it is feeding the world. One person out of nine doesn't go to bed without food. It means 169 million people who are food insecure around the planet. And this is especially for women and girls. 60% of women and girls are food insecure.

So this is a mural about what happens around the world, but also what happens here in the United States. And actually in the US, the African-American community is twice more food insecure than the Caucasian and Latino communities. So that's a reason why also we wanted to portray an African-American people, is we to pay tribute to the people who suffer the most.

And the fact to be in Houston where, obviously, we didn't know when we planned the project, that there would be the winter storm. But with the winter storm made it even more vivid in a sense when so many people who had been lining in the food drive since the winter storm in Houston. And actually a big round of applause again to all the people who spoke before for the incredible work to support their community.

And so yes. So that make this more even more meaningful. So just give us the context. So this mural is out of the sixth. It's for now the biggest one. This is a number of in New Orleans, but I have to say that because what we've done so far. So 250 feet large by 50 feet high, 13,000 square feet. So that's, that's, I'm sure that that's a record for Houston. And this is one of 6. So the first one was in New Orleans. This is Houston, then we go to Oakland, then we go to Washington, Detroit, and Battle Creek.

And these murals were done in collaboration with the World Food Program USA, which represent the UNWFP in the USA and Canner's company, which is a UN Global compact member. So was better that UN to be part of the project. So rapidly, we have an app called Behind the Wall that I encourage you to download, and it's free. And the way it works is that, when you're going to scan the mural with the app, it's going to prompt you information. You're going to get do you UNWFP within a year. And then you'll also from the dignitaries, from the commissioner, of the mayor we spoke today.

And you're going to really learn more, and also, as we were mentioning earlier, you're going to learn how to take action and make a difference. If you want to follow us, it's on streetartmankind.org and Street Art Mankind for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. And I'm going to quickly hand the micro back to Tebo for more information.

- Thank you. You've heard enough about us, I believe, but it is my immense pleasure to introduce an incredible artist that actually is the real one behind this wall that made that are possible. So before I let him talk about his mural, I would like for you to appreciate that he did this wall 13 days, which we have done a lot of murals across the world. It is a huge performance.

And with his family helping also, but he started everyday at six 45 in the morning, up till 8:00 PM with probably only 15 minutes to eat and stop. So I would call him a best Dragon 76, because honestly, it's amazing. He has a unique technique. Let me just talk a bit about so you can appreciate it. Yes, he used paint, a lot of spray paint. He is, he mixes colors. He has this unique capacity to bring still movements and movements together to mix the past and the future and influence of graffiti, and influence also of manga. Can I say it?

Because indeed, he is actually from Japan, originally, from Shiga, and living now in New York. He is three times winner of the Arts Battle, I would say, New York, and actually US champion. So he is, kind of, a master, I would say, out there a street art. Anyways, I talk too much. But give a big round of applause for Sitoshi called Dragon 76. Thank you.

DRAGON 76: Thank you for that. Thank you very much, everyone. And my time and you know the nation and our own people. And so out for this great opportunity. It was the biggest mural in my career. Then I always believe get pleasure working on the mural, that it brings many people. I hope people take something from this mural and let them to make an action. Sorry, my English not good.

Finally, I'm, I'm proud of my family. We actually did this mural together in two weeks. Also, also, Thanks to everyone who was involved in the huge project. And I really hope to zero hunger in your heart. Thank you so much.

- Thank you, Dragon 76. Thank you so much. I'm going to pass it to Bishop Dickson and thank him again for organizing this incredible event. We are psyched with this mural. Honestly, we are coming back, except if we can't find a way to paint. But, honestly, we would love to. We had a blast. Thank you Houston. Thank you very much.

- Thank you, Tebo. And I cannot pronounce the artist's real name, but I can't say Dragon 76. We're glad that your largest mural is in the third largest city in America, Houston, Texas. And I happen to know the name. You can figure nine. He answered my calls sometimes. I think that we can make an honorary citizen of Tebo, and the Deckers, and the artist Dragon 76 there.

I mean, you might-- I'm just suggested while on the microphone that you might give him the key to the city or something like that. How many citizens-- how many vote for that? OK. It's in motion, mayor. But thank you so very much. We appreciate firstly, after you really passed a lead, and your church, and all the churches in the resident. I see NAACP members the NAACP members lift your hand. Thank you so very much. We appreciate all that that means.