A community based art project developed by The Honeys of The Open Forum Youth Initiative, Better Together sought to proclaim our unity and collective power in the face of gun violence.

Gun violence is a nation-wide epidemic, but it cuts into heart of small communities. When Antonio Franklin Jr. was a victim of gun violence in Duncan Park in 2014, many community members struggled to understand how to respond. Should we avoid the park? Should we stage a vigil or move toward collective action to promote gun control? Anita Franklin, Antonio’s mother, told her neighbors that, whatever the choice, we must be “better together.”

Working with the creative mentors of The Open Forum Youth Initiative, The Honeys
created and installed a yarn mural proclaiming “better together.” Through the process of knitting bright colors together, we asked questions about how we could help our community get better together. We brainstormed ideas for helping people feel safe and recorded our answers. We decided that making the park more beautiful might help it to feel safer and we implemented our idea later that year. We continue to work to make Duncan Park a more beautiful place each year in remembrance of Antonio Franklin Jr.


In collaboration with Luella Pavey. Photographs by Steve Pavey.