Unveiled on September 24, 2022, “A New Narrative” is the newest public piece by local artist Jae Johnson.

A New Narrative

Designed and painted by local artist Jae Johnson on behalf of the United Way of Greater Charlottesville, this mural represents the journey towards a more equitable community. Recent data shows that with rising rent and childcare costs, over 10,000 families experiencing poverty in our community face the harsh reality of being left with around $76 or less a month after these expenses are paid. Of that population, a disproportionate percentage are people of color. That $76 is meant to cover a lengthy list of necessities including diapers & wipes, utilities, food, cell phone, car payment, and more. “A New Narrative” aims to capture this lived experience but also the hope for what our community can be if together, we commit to breaking down historical and systemic barriers to opportunity and access.

Interested in learning more? Hit the button below to check out our expanded case for support, complete with more statistics and stories about our community.

While working on this project we asked each other “what’s the last thing you spent $76 on?” 

We decided this would be an interesting question to ask a few of our other community members. So, we took to the downtown mall and did just that. Check out the video below to hear some of the answers and think for yourself, what’s the last thing you spent $76 on?

Could you make that money last an entire month?

About the Artist

Jae Johnson is a Charlottesville native, growing up in Fifeville, and traces his interest in art back to Venable Elementary School. He’s a graduate of Charlottesville High School and Virginia State University, with a major in studio art, talents he brings to bear all over town. While relatively new as a muralist, Jae has a long history of dynamic portraiture and is no stranger to the local art scene. From the outset of this project he was the perfect artist for “A New Narrative” because of his obvious artistic ability and his deep Charlottesville roots and commitment to our community.

Jae has numerous pieces in private collections across the country and has a growing catalog of murals around Charlottesville. Make sure to follow him on social media @skeevangogh.

Thank you to our community partners