The Garland District has created an art alley between Monroe and Post. The mural project was completed by professional mural artists, and was also a collaborative project with staff and students from a neighborhood youth center. The end result is a beautiful space for the whole community to enjoy. Historically the alley has been a target for tagging and graffiti, and this project has activated the space in a positive way. An exciting educational component to the grant proposal was that professional artists worked with a small group of students to teach them about the process of painting murals, with the aim to instill in the students the importance of public and street art. One outcome of the transformation of the alley has been that local businesses can use it as an extension of their business. Neighbors, whether residential or commercial, can feel a sense of pride and connection to the art since it was created by people who live and work in their neighborhood.
WITH SAGA SUPPORT:
A portion of the SAGA funds were used to purchase supplies, such as paint and paint brushes, and a portion was used to pay a stipend to the professional artists. President of Garland Business District, Julie Shepard-Hall says, “I know that some of the artists are willing to volunteer their time, but we feel it is important to pay the artists as well. Along with the grant money, we will seek donations or business sponsorship.” The Garland District benefits by creating more of an awareness of their lively, quirky business district. “The Art Alley will bring publicity and new visitors to our district that will in turn hopefully encourage more spending at local businesses. Many people love the Garland District, but there are also many who don’t even realize what we have to offer. This can put us on the map.”