Groups paint message of respect in Virginia Beach

(Photo courtesy of Marielena Balouris/WAVY)
(Photo courtesy of Marielena Balouris/WAVY)

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – While people in some parts of the country are rioting over President-Elect Donald Trump’s win, people in Virginia Beach are spreading the message of respect and acceptance.

“We’re just loving this today. We’re having a great time,” says Michael Berlucchi, president of Hampton Roads Pride.

They were out  painting the crosswalk of 19th Street and Cypress Avenue, which is part of the area known as the ViBe Creative District.

“That’s going to serve as a symbol for inclusion, for respect, for dignity of all people,” says Berlucchi.

The design is two rainbows that meet in the middle with a cardinal, the state bird of Virginia. It was created by artist Allison Termine, who is from Chesapeake and works at the Chrysler museum.

“We had about 12 proposals submitted from our open call to the artists and her’s was the one that was voted in to be selected for this third and largest crosswalk,” says Kate Pittman, with the ViBe Creative District.

The event was organized by the ViBe Creative District and Hampton Roads Pride and supported by the Office of Cultural Affairs and the Business Consortium for Arts Support.

Painters of all ages put their creative skills to good use — and shared a powerful message.

“Virginia Beach is a place that values creativity, values creative expression, it also values everyone. everyone is welcome here, everyone is respected here,” says Berlucchi.