Demuth Park mural honoring Filipino heritage one step closer after Arts Commission meeting

If all goes as planned, the mural should debut next year, along with signage explaining what’s depicted on the wall.
A draft of artist J. Adam Labuen Garcia’s mural that will someday adorn a wall at the Demuth Park Community Center.

A mural honoring the city’s Filipino community is one step closer to reality following a meeting Wednesday.

Driving the news: Bayanihan Desert, a local organization working to build community and civic engagement in the Filipino community, is backing the creation of the mural at Demuth Park. On Wednesday, the city’s Arts Commission got its first look at a draft and heard from the artist – Palm Springs native J. Adam Labuen Garcia – voicing overwhelming approval.

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What they’re saying: “I think the mural is an amazing idea, and I’m in full support of it,” said Commissioner Gary Armstrong.

Details: During a presentation to the Commission, Garcia offered details of exactly who and what would be in the mural, and why. Garcia’s initial draft shows rich cultural traditions and prominent people revered by the Filipino community both in Palm Springs and abroad.

  • Commissioners offered a few suggestions to ensure the mural remained Palm Springs-centric. “When I look at this, I want to see more of a differentiation,” said Commissioner Matthew Lesniak. “I’m not seeing a strong sense for Palm Springs or what happened here.”

Why it matters: The Demuth Park neighborhood, formerly known as the Veterans Tract, included an enclave of Filipino Americans following World War II. Filipino farmworkers, chefs, and hospitality professionals established their homes and built multigenerational, multicultural communities beginning in the early 20th century.

Next steps: Garcia will now work on finalizing the drawing, bringing it back to the Commission for approval at its next meeting in January. Once the Palm Springs City Council approves the funding, it will be headed for a wall at the park’s community center.

  • If all goes as planned, the mural should debut next year, along with signage explaining what’s depicted on the wall.

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