Viva Cuba, Murals for Everyone!

Viva Cuba! Missouri, that is. In 1984, a group of people aimed to beautify Cuba to attract new industries and jobs. By 1987, they were the first Adopt-A-Highway site in the state. 1991, they purchased a lot and transformed a previously ugly space into Viva Cuba Garden. Everyone came together to make it happen: donations of labor and money from businesses, organizations, and community members. 

Pictures from; click on them to see them larger.

But they didn’t stop with just one park! In 2001, Viva Cuba started a major project, commissioning 12 outdoor murals in time for their 150th anniversary in 2007. To top it off, in 2002, Cuba was designated the “Route 66 Mural City” by the Missouri legislature. 

Murals Commissioned

The first mural was done by a local artist Shelly Smith, the local high school art teacher. She found a mural artist in Canada who agreed to come down and help her paint her very first mural Michelle Loughery. Michelle came back to do a second mural. The first one got folks excited and Cuba continues to make murals. Now they have 16 outdoor murals, and many indoor murals. The grocery store truck stop has a 66 theme and local churches too all have different murals.

The first mural was a Model T with a former mayor cranking it. Each mural brings history and art together. Read their stories here:

The latest mural is a postcard, designed by Shelly Smith Steiger on the Steve Paulus Law Firm. It’s designs allows for room for cars to park in front of it for a selfie shot. 

This is Shelly hard at work!

Route 66 Murals

Route 66 was not to be outdone! Here’s a mural from the assisted living center. And the Fanning outpost center.

Osage Trail Legacy

In 2014, the city and citizens of Cuba, Missouri welcomed back the Osage Nation with the Osage Trail Legacy.  A metal sculpture by artist Glen Tutterrow stands proudly at the Cuba Visitor Center and depicts an ancient Osage family on the move westward.  Encircled by a small walking park, the 35-foot sculpture includes the chief, mother and baby, young daughter, and their beast of burden, the domesticated red wolf. The larger-than-life monument can be seen from Interstate 44 at Exit 208. Cuba is proud to welcome back the Osage Nation with the largest sculpture ever dedicated and erected to the Osage Nation. Also, along Route 66, there is a mural dedicated to the early meeting of the Osage and the French explorers, painted by mural artist Norman Akers.

A metal sculpture by artist Glen Tutterrow stands proudly at the Cuba Visitor Center and depicts an ancient Osage family on the move westward.

My thanks to Lori Malcolm, who moved to Cuba in 2018 and joined Viva Cuba and now is the president after Jane Reed retired. She assisted with the energetic telling this town and why anyone should live there! 



Viva Cuba Page

Visitor Center Page

Museum Page