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

See More Grantees Like This One

Hendersonville, NC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public art installations

Description: Herdersonville has two discrete downtown districts and recently created a safe pedestrian pathway to connect them. Friends of Downtown Hendersonville's initiative beautified the path and dubbed it the Downtown Art Route. First, the organization held an art contest. Then volunteers painted three winning designs onto the path's pavement. The Hendo Bee Line mural depicts pollinator flowers, while another mural features five hands spelling the word Hendo in American Sign Language. A third stretch of sidewalk showcases artwork depicting bears in a mountain landscape. Since the project completed, organizers are looking for locations to install more public art in the future.

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.

Charlotte, NC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public art installations

Description: Charlotte's Little Sugar Creek Greenway is a popular place for pedestrians, but the path through the Parkwood underpass tunnel was dark and uninviting. Working with local partners, Brand the Moth gave the tunnel new life. The organization commissioned two local artists to design a mural, which volunteers helped install during a community paint day. The new artwork represents Charlotte's people, communities and nature. Residents and visitors can now take a walking tour through the mural. Project organizers say they hope the public art project attracts more people to use the greenway.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Grantees

Raleigh, NC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: As part of efforts to set up a new community center at a donated house, the City of Oaks Foundation purchased furnishings and equipment to host events onsite. To get the property ready, the Foundation hosted several volunteer days, where community members helped restore trails and clear underbrush onsite. In the months that followed, programming at the Joslin House and Garden ranged from plein air painting, art showings, a nature event featuring live owls and other creatures, a mother-grandmother tea, gardening workshops and a lecture on World Way I history. Project organizers say these events -- and others -- have helped with fundraising efforts as work on the house and surrounding gardens continues. The Foundation estimates more than 400 visitors each year have attended events in the community space, with many others visiting to stroll the property.

Durham, NC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Innovative home maintenance, repair and support services

Description: Like many places, Durham is experiencing an affordable housing crisis, with many longtime residents displaced from their neighborhoods. To help residents remain in their homes, Durham Habitat for Humanity expanded its Repairs Program services for low-income, older and disabled residents. The organization purchased a second-hand work truck, which helps work crews perform repairs and home maintenance tasks. Since the purchased, Habitat's teams improved homes in a year, representing a 50 percent increase from the year before. The improvements address unsafe living conditions and make homes more accessible for residents of all ages and abilities. Organizers say providing cost-effective repairs preserves affordable housing and curbs gentrification.

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