‘Breonna’s Garden’ provides immersive experience in Central Florida

ORLANDO, Fla. – A social justice exhibit hopes to make a difference in Central Florida by telling the story of a Kentucky woman who was killed during a botched police raid from a new perspective.

Breonna’s Garden is a digital immersion exhibition that tells a profound, untold story of Breonna Taylor, who was shot dead by police during a 2020 raid on her home in Louisville, Kentucky.

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After police ripped the door off its hinges, Breonna’s friend once fired his gun, hitting a sergeant in the thigh.

Police responded by firing multiple shots, hitting Ms Taylor five times. An officer blindly fired 10 shots into the apartment.

Her death and how it came about sparked protests across the country, including here in central Florida.

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“To be able to be free in a place like this is amazing,” said Sasha LoveHiggins, a volunteer at Breonna’s Garden. She told News 6 the experience was emotional, comforting and inspirational.

Grace Wang completed the full immersion experience and described what she saw.

“I was surrounded by flowers. It was beautiful. The experience is really touching,” said Wang.

Messages from Taylor’s family can be seen throughout the experience from each digital rose in the garden, which includes voice memos to family members witnessing in Taylor’s room.

People are transported to both areas in their augmented or virtual reality

“You can expect peace. Many people have an overwhelming sense of stillness, beauty, peace and tranquility,” said Lady Pheonix, the creator of Breonna’s Garden.

Taylor’s family hopes this experience will shed new light on who Breonna was as a person.

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“I like it because this is about her and not her pain,” said Taylor’s sister Ju’niyah Palmer.

Palmer said the idea came about when Lady Phoenix reached out after Palmer received death threats.

Originally, the project was just an escape for the family, but it has now expanded across the world.

“I just want people to know that she loved you even if she didn’t know you. It didn’t matter who you were, what you did. She’ll still love you,” Palmer said.

While this exhibit is intended to be a place of healing, organizers say that presenting this exhibit here in Orlando means so much more.

“We are here in Orlando. We came to stand up for the rights of people who have been disenfranchised by the law,” said Brenda Darden Wilkerson.

Wilkerson directs the Grace Hopper conference that brought Breonna’s Garden to Orlando.

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She told News 6 that the impact will extend beyond the conference by giving a portion of the proceeds to local organizations and nonprofits.

“The Florida Access Network and also the Zebra Coalition, so we support. We stand for those fighting for our human rights,” Wilkerson said.

As for the creator behind the experience, she hopes people can heal and come together.

“We need to make time for each other, we need to make time to honor ourselves and honor our loved ones,” Lady Phoenix said.

The exhibit sold out, but organizers said people could still experience it at home and learn more about Breonna Taylor’s story. An app can be downloaded to your mobile device.

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