Acts of creative placemaking are fabulous in every season, but they’re particularly poised to shine in the summertime, when days are long, plants are in bloom, and people are outdoors.
This summer, ioby is delighted to be launching a campaign with National Main Streets Center (NMSC) that’s providing matching funds to support placemaking projects in town centers across the U.S. Generously funded by Edward Jones, the campaign is one of several match programs we’re undertaking with NMSC this year. Read more about it, and check out the awesome projects that are eligible for matching funds—your donation will be doubled until July 31!
“We love NMSC’s four-pronged approach to comprehensive, community-led revitalization,” says Ethany Uttech, ioby’s Leader Action Strategist & Partnership Manager. “It guides resident leaders in creating a great sense of place and a strong, economically viable main street in their community. NMSC’s community-driven approach aligns beautifully with ioby’s focus on resident-led action.”
The 10 projects selected from a nationwide pool of submissions are all unique to their community’s needs, but have a common thread: they all use elements of creative placemaking in “lighter, quicker, cheaper” concepts that aim to catalyze local economies, activate public spaces, and engage residents. For years, we’ve witnessed the tremendous ability of the arts to help people reenvision and reinvent public spaces in their communities, so we champion these local leaders and look forward to seeing the fruits of their labors!
What’s more, while ioby serves resident leaders nationwide, the majority of projects we’ve so far supported have taken place in urban centers. As you’ll see below and on the campaign page, these projects are popping off in small and mid-size communities. We’re pleased to help their leaders show that community crowdfunding for place-based projects works whether it’s happening in a big city or a small town. Regardless of population, neighborhood-level change is most powerful and viable when resident leadership and personal investment are driving it.
Here’s a quick look at three of the campaign’s winning projects:
Pigtown Pop-Up Park: With help from our friends at Project for Public Spaces, neighbors in Maryland’s Pigtown neighborhood want to help transform an overlooked major intersection into a welcoming gateway for residents and commuters. (This project and The Mural Project at Ground Floor Farm, in downtown Stuart, Florida, are both sited on a Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard—which, sadly, are marked by high rates of disinvestment across the country.)
Maker Trail: Downtown Enid, Oklahoma already hosts a bustling First Friday series, but neighborhood leaders want to spur greater participation (and imagination) by adding a Maker Trail. As they stroll the streets, residents will be enticed to stop and tackle fun, hands-on projects at stations dedicated to themes like music, physics, and robotics.
Art In The Alley: The alley that runs alongside the Marsh Hotel in Van Wert, Ohio currently serves only as a pedestrian pathway between spaces—but local leaders envision a community gathering place where people can sit and enjoy a workday lunch, listen to live music on a Friday date night, or play a game of Giant Jenga with friends.
Loving these projects as much as we are? See them all on the campaign page, and remember that all donations up to $1,000 will be matched until July 31!