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Central Standard

Artists Combat Gun Violence With Creativity

The Light in the Other Room
Artists for Life/Rocket Grants

This hour on Central Standard, we talked with Darryl Chamberlain, Martice Smith and George Mayfield of Artists for Life, a coalition of African American artists who hope to raise awareness about handgun violence with their work in Kansas City.

Chamberlain says gun crimes in the city have reached a point where someone is shot every three days. That violence is primarily perpetrated within the community of young African American men, he says.

"African American young men are killing more African American young men than even the KKK," he said.

"Youth today have the wrong idea of what a man is," said George Chamberlain, an artist working with the project. "Violence should not be used to build yourself up."

That's where the Artists for Life Project comes in. The group is hoping that by producing "compelling and provocative artwork," as they describe it on their website, they can start a thoughtful dialogue about gun violence in the city.

You can see more examples of the project's work at their page on the Rocket Grants website, a fund run by the Charlotte Street Foundation.

Matthew Long-Middleton has been a talk-show producer, community producer, Media Training Manager and now the Community Engagement Manager at KCUR. You can reach him at Matthew@kcur.org, or on Twitter @MLMIndustries.