WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW)– The Wichita community gathered Sunday afternoon to paint the historic Nomar theater after noticing it was vandalized with graffiti.
“Just really saddening to see that,” said volunteer, Denise Romero.
The Executive Director of Empower Evergreen noticed the graffiti plastered on a mural and on the walls of the Theater Saturday– a day after the non-profit had closed on the two buildings.
“This is a great opportunity for us to show a strong force every single time that somebody comes out and wants to graffiti the building, so we’re excited to be able to have a network now who we can call upon to make sure we can fix it right away,” said Ariel Rodriguez, Executive Director of Empower Evergreen.
He shared pictures of the damaged walls on social media that day. He says many people started reaching out wanting to help him cover up the graffiti. On Sunday, more than 30 people came together to paint over the graffiti.
“We had the Wichita police out here, so it was really cool to see such a vast group of different community members here today,” said Rodriguez.
Some of the community volunteers describe what the vandals did as disappointing, heartbreaking and surprising, but are glad people are stepping up to help.
“I just took out my painting gear and put it on and, you know, just came and helped out and it was really nice to see a lot of community members come and help us, ” said Romero.
Romero says when she found out what happened there was no doubt in her mind that she needed to extend a helping hand. While it might not have been an ideal situation, she says it was a great day to get together with her community.
“I was really happy to see familiar faces and faces that I haven’t seen in a long time because of COVID,” said Romero.