Click here to learn about the 2024 AARP Community Challenge — and apply by March 6, 2024.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Grantees

Lynchburg, VA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To organizers with the Downtown Lynchburg Association, an underused, dead-end street had potential to draw visitors downtown. The Association transformed the space into Art Alley -- a vibrant, outdoor art gallery. To activate the space, volunteers covered the pavement in turquoise, orange, pink and green paint. They also set up string lights overhead to provide illumination. Finally, they created the Spark Joy Gallery by installing panels that display digital artworks. Project organizers say the placemaking effort has since inspired nearby property owners to spruce up their building facades, and the Art Alley has become a must-see for tourists passing through town.

Powhatan County, VA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Lifelong housing and accessibility

Description: The site of Powhatan's historic Pocahontas School sat unused for many years. Organizers with Habitat for Humanity saw the campus as an opportunity to provide needed affordable housing for local older adults. To envision possibilities for the space, Habitat hosted four community design. At the workshops community members worked with a local architectural firm to draw up plans to transform two school structures into apartment buildings offering one- and two-bedroom units. Once completed, the development will offer 21 new affordable housing units in total. Organizers say the charrette also helped attract 2.2 million in financing for the project. Going forward, Habitat plans to continue to explore ways to fill the area's growing need for affordable housing.

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