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Elgin Girl Scout helps promote LGBT+ unity in her community with new mural

The mural, located on East 22nd Street, is the first of its kind in the small town of Elgin.

ELGIN, Texas — While 2020 has seemed like a year filled with uncertainty and division, one Elgin High School senior is hoping her Girl Scouts Gold Award project will help unite her community by bridging the lack of LGBT+ representation in her small town.

Heather Miller dedicated the town's first LGBT+ mural on Oct. 10, one day before National Coming Out Day. She's currently in the process of earning the Gold Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout can receive that also challenges Scouts to develop projects that address local and global issues with sustainable solutions. She raised more than $4,000 and worked for 86 hours to create the art piece near the historic Elgin Grain and Feed Company.

“I chose an LGBT+ mural because I and many of the people I know are part of the LGBT+ community,” said Miller. “I will use this mural on the main street in Elgin to show support and love towards the LGBT+ community.”

Miller said the mural, which was commissioned by local artist Ashley Smith, was well received by the community and she did not receive any negativity while working on the project.

“I was like, ‘Let’s do this,’” Smith said. “We love to cultivate creativity in the community and it’s easy to show support to someone who thinks outside the box.”

The yellow, 12-foot mural depicts dancing silhouettes holding different flags representing identities within the LGBT+ community. A QR code on-site also links to a website Miller created to help educate visitors about the community.

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Miller was a supporter by her fellow scouts, Troop 2334, which has been together for 12 years. They attended the socially-distant dedication ceremony along with other members of the Elgin community.

"In a year of unprecedented global change, our country’s need for unity, acceptance, and inclusion has never been greater," said Emma Acosta, marketing and communications specialist for the Girl Scouts of Central Texas. "As communities embrace social change amid social-distancing challenges, Girl Scouts prevail in educating the public of the importance of recognizing marginalized groups in their communities."

Miller's mural is a piece of the public arts plan for Downtown Elgin, which aims to showcase the community’s diversity. It's located at 112 East Second St. on the south-facing wall. 


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