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Matthews, NC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Public art installations

Description: The project will install a mural along a local pedestrian and bike trail to commemorate the Crestdale community, the oldest Black community in North Carolina, as well as LED lighting, ADA-compliant benches and signs.

Parkersburg, WV

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public art installations

Description: Downtown PKP wanted to build on its efforts to bring public art to Parkersburg. Over the years, the nonprofit created selfie stations and displayed welcome banners in the central business district. This project added a 40-foot mural. Downtown PKB held community listening sessions, where they asked residents what they love most about their town, as well as about their hopes for the future. Using the responses, a team of artists developed a design depicting a collage of smiling faces, local landmarks and butterflies. During four public paint parties, 300 volunteers worked to install the mural on the side of the Parkersburg Art Center. Project organizers say the collaborative effort culminated in public art that beautified Parkersburg's downtown.

Minot, ND

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public art installations

Description: To increase vibrancy and walkability in Minot's downtown, the city's Downtown Business and Professional Association sponsored three new downtown wall murals, each created by different local artists. To encourage passersby to interact with the murals, the artists hid depictions of objects in each mural's imagery, challenging onlookers to search for elements that seem out of place in the painting's subject matter. The association worked with local businesses to acquire materials, such as paint, brushes and cleaning supplies, for the project. Each mural adorns the wall of a different local business. Over the years, Minot has become known in recent years for its assortment of colorful, creative street art -- an online tourist guide helps visitors find murals throughout town.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Chelsea, MA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Inclusive public space improvements

Description: La Plazita, an indoor/outdoor activity space, will provide Latinx residents aged 50 with a place to gather, connect, celebrate and create community. The space is inspired by plazas, mercados and outdoor spaces in Latin America.

Boston, MA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To encourage walking, Boston installed benches in Main Street neighborhood districts across the city. Older adults tested and approved the benches and worked with the City to identify the best locations for them. The initiative's guiding principle was that making walking safe and comfortable for older adults creates a better environment for people of all ages. Project organizers report residents were eager to use the new benches. In fact, as Department of Public Works staff were finishing up an installation, a few people were often waiting to take a seat. The benches contribute to vibrant public spaces near businesses and merchants say they appreciate the increased foot traffic. Project organizers say the installations helped develop a city-wide framework for a sustainable bench program, addressing installation and long-term maintenance.

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