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#TBT: Georgetown mural hopes to inspire next generation of educators

(Photo courtesy: City of Georgetown)
(Photo courtesy: City of Georgetown)
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For muralist Devon Clarkson, it's the largest commission he has even taken on.

"The face... you've gotta make sure to capture that likeness," said Clarkson.

The Georgetown native is working on a mural of educator Mary Smith Bailey.

It's in a prime location. The art is behind Georgetown City Hall and in front of the historic Shotgun House.

"Hopefully she would think I did a good job on capturing her," explained Clarkson. "It speaks a lot about her and her impact."

Mary Bailey impact was on the children in Central Texas. She was public school teacher for 39 years serving in several school districts educating African-American children.

"She had a vision for African-American children. It showed and gave a vision for African-Americans during segregated times," said Paulette Taylor, president of Georgetown Cultural Citizen Memorial Association.

After retirement Mary Bailey founded The West Side Kindergarten in 1953. It was the first preschool in the area to offer educational preschool services to non-white children.

She began charging parents 50 cents for the school. With Mary Bailey's background in education, she wasn't babysitting the toddlers but teaching the young minds.

Hundreds of students and many changes later, the Mary Bailey Head Start Center continues to teach Georgetown children.

Georgetown-native Norma Clark knew Mary Bailey and her older sister went to the daycare.

Clark is also working on the mural. Her side of the commissioned art more abstract to honor other Georgetown African-American leaders.

"We've never had anything like this in our neighborhood," said Clark.

With a deadline of February, ahead of Black History Month, this project hopes to make an overlooked neighborhood begin to shine bright.

"When you pass by you tend to reminiscence and cherish historical figures... the people who worked hard for that to happen," said Paulette Taylor. "It enlightens us know what existed here."

The funding for it coming from the city and a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts.

The City of Georgetown plans on holding a mural dedication ceremony in February. You can find a full list of activities dedicated for Black History Month in Georgetown here:

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EDITOR NOTE: #TBT or Turning Back Time is a new series of stories by CBS Austin This Morning Anchor John-Carlos Estrada. The series will focus on history around Central Texas that has an impact in the community. If you want to share an story idea with him – email him or message him on social media via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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