Not long ago, this stunning mural appeared on the Atlanta BeltLine.
It takes up much of the building that used to be Paris on Ponce, before it tragically caught fire and relocated. The large wall has long been a massive canvas for street artists, and a backdrop for many a photo shoot. And it was time for some new paint.
I chased down the hashtag, #solidblack21, and the Atlanta artist, QuakeSolo, to find that this mural is part of Doritos' latest diversity initiative. Building on #amplifyblackvoices, which the company started in 2020 to make black voices heard, Solid Black supports and promotes "Black Changemakers" - black Americans who are artists, creators and innovators. People who are changing the status quo and making a difference.
I like this because many companies only pay lip service to diversity without actually making real change. But Doritos is spending $5 million, and giving $50,000 each to 7 people they selected from across the country - and promoting them.
On their Facebook page, in between pics of Doritos bags, you can find videos of different "Changemakers" - a chef, a seamstress, an author, a gamer and others.
Then there are the murals.
"The mural was a tribute to the old Atlanta I love. With all of the new construction in Atlanta, many old traditions and culture gets lost. I wanted to make sure people never forget the soul of the city, but I also wanted to let the new residents know where we came from," Quake told me.
I love this. I know both the old Atlanta and the new, and as much as the BeltLine brings energy and growth to this city, it can also wipe away its history if we're not conscious of it. Quake said he was contacted by Overall Murals, not knowing the project was for such a big brand. Once he agreed, he had 48 to 72 hours to get the mural up. You would never know it.
And are those little Doritos in the background? Mmmm...who has a craving for Doritos now? Which is exactly what they were hoping for, right?
Looking for fun things to do in Atlanta? Join us on a Food & Art Tour of the Atlanta BeltLine.
An Atlanta native, Nicole Gustin is the Founder & CEO of BiteLines, which offers walking food & art tours on the Atlanta BeltLine. She considers the BeltLine her backyard, and is excited to see how Atlanta is reinventing itself. The BiteLines blog features art, restaurants, happenings and weirdness on the Atlanta BeltLine. Share story ideas and pics at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or follow on Instagram @bitelinesatl.