Mural Surrounding Arena Site Unveiled

More than 200 inner-city students Wednesday helped unveil a half-mile mural that they had painted for a construction wall surrounding Staples Center, the future home of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kings.

Four thousand students from 19 elementary and middle schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District participated in the project, which was co-sponsored by the Staples Center Foundation and Inner-City Arts.

The students worked on 8-by-20-foot canvases, which were later attached to the construction wall surrounding the 10-acre site along Figueroa Street.

"This mural is the creative voice of 4,000 children in the city of Los Angeles," said Bob Bates, artistic director of Inner-City Arts, a nonprofit group formed in 1989 in response to budget cuts in public school art programs.

The Staples Center Foundation, created by the arena owners, has pledged to raise $1 million for the Inner-City Arts organization over the next five years, spokesman Michael Roth said.

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