Downtown Olympia Mural Honors Formerly Homeless College Graduate

There’s a new mural on the exterior of the historic Capitol Theater in Downtown Olympia. Unveiled last Friday, April 16, the mural honors Crystal Allenton and her resilience and achievements throughout her life.

Allenton and her three kids escaped an abusive relationship about a decade ago. They were homeless and living in an Olympia area shelter. Allenton had been enrolled in a degree program through WGU Washington with the dreams of becoming a teacher.

Now, she has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from WGU Washington. She works as a teacher and has taught special ed, English language, and music to students in the South Puget Sound area.

She is currently teaching high school in Pennsylvania while her daughter studies ballet.

“I hope that anyone who sees this mural is inspired to take the first step to fight for their future and their family,” Allenton said in a press release.

The mural was created by Seattle-based street artist Jeff “Weirdo” Jacobson. He began work on the mural April 2.

“This mural is a symbol of hope that belongs to everyone in Olympia and throughout the Puget Sound area,” Jacobson said in the release. “Crystal’s life has been filled with tremendous challenges and achievements. Through my painting, I am conveying not just Crystal’s perseverance but the potential we all have as individuals and a community.”

Allenton said she knows that many people have gone through similar situations and have done the best for their families.

“We struggle together, and we celebrate together,” she said.

“I hope that this mural encourages and supports all who see it to pursue their dreams,” Allenton added in the release. “Going to college, getting an advanced degree, or taking career risks can be daunting, but I believe that we should be doing what we love while making our community a better place.”

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