MUNCIE – A radio station’s garage-door-decorating contest is causing controversy in a westside neighborhood.
High school student Hannah Brewer, with her mother’s permission, painted the garage door of their residence in an attempt to prove she is the biggest fan of the pop/punk band 5 Seconds of Summer, aka 5SOS.
“Get creative and prove you’re the biggest 5SOS fan on your garage door so the whole neighborhood can see it!” the radio station said in announcing the competition. “Color, paint, decorate … whatever you can think of! Just make sure we can see RadioNOW 100.9 … somewhere” on the door.
The winner will receive tickets to the band’s Aug. 22 concert and get to meet the four members backstage at Klipsch Music Center. The Australian band took the stage at this week’s 2015 Teen Choice Aw
ards in Los Angeles.
Brewer, a student at Daleville High School, and her friend Morgan Whitmer, a student at Delta High School, got creative, painting images of the band members, a message reading, “5SOS is kinda hot!” a skull, an astronaut and other things on the door.
Soon after that, an anonymous letter titled “A NOTE FROM YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD” was left in Brewer’s front door at 3305 W. Oaklyn Ave.
It said, “At first we all thought you had been a victim of vandalism on your garage, seeing how NOTHING like that has ever happened around here before … In case you haven’t noticed this isn’t LA or Chicago or Mexico and it certainly isn’t south Muncie.
“There is discussion of getting up a petition, calling the newspaper and retaining a lawyer in case you don’t do the right thing over the ghetto painting … We are all sorry we have had to do this but nobody has ever treated this neighborhood in a trashy manner!”
The author of the letter left another copy of it in the front door on another day.
Brewer’s mother, Carrie Mote Craig, a Catholic school teacher, called the police, who told her the painting did not violate any city ordinances. An officer agreed to pose for a photograph at the door with a thumbs-up sign.
Craig quoted the officer, Sara Mench, as saying the project was a way for her daughter to express her artistic talent in a safe place, at home.
Though the anonymous letter made Craig think it was from a group of neighbors or the neighborhood association, she learned there is no neighborhood association or any covenants regulating garage door painting.
Craig then wrote and hand delivered throughout the neighborhood a message of her own (also posted on Facebook) reporting that she had received the threatening letter and explaining why the door was painted.
“The garage door painting was meant to be temporary and I would then paint it blue like the rest of the doors on my house,” Craig wrote in the letter.
Craig and her daughter then received an outpouring of support.
Gail and Gary Townsend, for example, called the anonymous letter writer “cowardly” and asked Craig “not to assume that our neighborhood is generally small minded and bigoted … Your home is beautiful and we are delighted to have you as our neighbor … The garage door looks great.”
Another neighbor, Rhonda Murphy, wrote, “I’m so sorry whoever was offended handled this in they way they did … P.S. I can see both sides … but was handled so wrong to you! God Bless and Good Luck.”
Brewer told The Star Press: “All the neighbors came by and have been very supportive, other than the one who sent the letter. They’ve been really supportive. A lot have come by to introduce themselves and looked at the painting.”
The Star Press emailed Chuck Williams, general manager of Radio One-Indianapolis, a photo of the painted door and asked whether he would find it objectionable if someone had done that in his neighborhood.
He called the contest “a chance for fans to show their passion and said “we do not provide solicited commentary on contest submissions until the contest has ended. I am absolutely going to show no bias toward anybody’s entries until the contest is over.”
Contact Seth Slabaugh at (765) 213-5834.