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Fortune Mural Project

What is the Fortune Mural Project?

The Alex Breanne Corporation, in collaboration with a coalition of local partners and public art nonprofit, RiseUP for Arts, is proud to announce the launch of the Fortune Mural Project in Waterbury, CT. This initiative aims to create a large-scale mural to honor Fortune, an 18th-century enslaved man whose story is a significant, yet often overlooked part of Connecticut’s history.

Fortune’s life, while enslaved in Waterbury, and the posthumous treatment of his remains, highlight the complexities of our shared past. This project, supported by a diverse group of community partners, seeks to present his story in a way that fosters understanding, dialogue, and healing.

Who was Fortune?

Fortune was an 18th century Waterbury resident, enslaved by Dr. Preserved Porter. In 1798, he fell from a rock at the side of a river and died. Dr. Porter and his descendants then used Fortune’s body for medical science, training and profit for over 130 years. His bones were then donated to the Mattatuck Museum and displayed from 1933 until 1970.

In the 1990’s, Fortune’s bones were studied by archeologists and anthropologists. Fortune’s bones would eventually be buried at Riverside Cemetery in Waterbury, CT in 2013, 215 years after his death.

Is the Waterbury community involved in the mural effort?

Yes. This collaborative effort includes:

  • Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office
  • Silas Bronson Library
  • St. John’s Episcopal Church
  • Riverside Cemetery
  • Waterbury Public Schools
  • NAACP Greater Waterbury Chapter
  • Connecticut Freedom Trail
  • Waterbury Arts & Tourism Commission
  • Waterbury Mayor’s Office
  • Art & Culture Collaborative, Waterbury Region.

Can I provide input as to what I believe should be on the mural?

Yes! Please complete the survey here.

Who is the artist producing the mural?

The mural in Waterbury will be completed by a Greater-Waterbury based professional artist, Katiana Jarbath-Smith, along with local emerging artists and the community. The Fortune Man Mural will be a symbol within the Waterbury community demonstrating a commitment to racial equity.

Where can I see other murals created by RiseUp for Arts?

RiseUP for Arts has completed over 250 mural and placemaking projects since 2015 throughout Connecticut. RiseUP works with 100+ local, professional artists, collaborates with 100s of partners, and hosts 1,000+ volunteers per year to help beautify our communities. To view past work, please visit

How can I donate to this effort?

We have secured $18,000 towards the cost of $30,000 for the mural effort. We need to raise an additional $12,000. Please consider helping us meet our goal. To donate, you can do so on our GoFundMe page here or by using the DONATE button below. You can also contact The Alex Breanne Corporation at, or RiseUp for Arts at

Is there additional sponsorship information?

Yes. You can download the Sponsorship information document here.

Is there a press release for media usage?

Yes. You can download the Fortune Mural Project Press Release here.