Downtown Jackson will complete a street art exhibition and festival through a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the city of Jackson announced today. The campaign is being offered through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.
If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by August 8, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places (PSCP) program. For project details and to donate, please visit: patronicity.com/brightwalls .
“Public art has been proven to activate spaces and economic development in city centers across the globe and the Bright Walls project will do the same for downtown Jackson,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Katharine Czarnecki. “We are pleased to provide resources for this effort through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”
The Bright Walls Team took inspiration from mural festivals around the world and created a vision that would have a lasting impact in downtown Jackson. Last year, in its inaugural debut, Bright Walls hosted 14 artists from around the world. The festival boasted six days of free activities for the community, showcasing the artists’ talents as they painted giant works of art alongside local artists, businesses and musicians. The addition of permanent lighting and signage highlighting the murals has made this area safer, more walkable and even resulted in an uptick of business owners improving their building facades.
This year, they will expand that impact and host 15 internationally recognized muralists and six Michigan-based muralists at a new festival site. In addition to the live mural painting, each day of the festival will include free activities for the entire community. To include all Jackson residents, each day has its own theme designed to reach unique audiences. The funds raised with the community’s support from this campaign will bring vibrancy to an underutilized block of downtown Jackson, create more than 15 high-quality murals for all to enjoy and illuminate new walking paths within the downtown.
“The PSCP program is an excellent opportunity to expand our fundraising into the community. As a public initiative, this grant empowers our friends, family and neighbors to play a significant role in Bright Walls by maximizing the value of each dollar contributed,” said Leslie Youngdahl, president of Jackson Young Professionals. “There is power in people coming together to support a purpose or cause in which they believe. We are thankful for the generosity of the community and the MEDC to help bring Bright Walls to fruition through this grant.”
Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League and Patronicity, in which residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of strategic projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC. Communities, nonprofits and other business entities can apply at https://patronicity.com/puremichigan .
“Using art to create engaging public spaces is key to great placemaking,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. “This year, Bright Walls is continuing to present an interactive art experience for the community that will beautify downtown Jackson for years to come.”
The Public Spaces Community Places initiative started in 2014 with MEDC providing matched funding of up to $50,000 for community improvement projects throughout Michigan. As of June 6, 2019, MEDC has provided $6,500,041 in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 213 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with $7.7 million raised from 39,974 individual donors.