An enthusiastic and creative crowd filled the Ada Lawrence Community Room on November 10 in the Wayne Building to celebrate the installation of the first 13 transformational placemaking murals along five of United Way’s Safer Walking Routes to school pathways.
The initiative, Purposeful Placemaking: Leveraging Art, Community Schools and Neighborhoods, was spearheaded by Patrick Fisher, Executive Director, Erie Arts and Culture Executive Director with support from United Way of Erie County.
Neighborhood and community disorganization have a significant negative impact on youth. By transforming bland or blighted walls into inspirational center points reflective of the surrounding community, the collaborative Purposeful Placemaking project is transforming how children, their families and neighborhood residents view their community.
Launched in early May 2022 with a shared goal of 50 murals completed along United Way's Safer Walking Routes to School, Purposeful Placemaking has become a game changing project in underserved communities of the city by creating jobs, providing apprenticeship opportunities for young people, celebrating under-represented artists and recreating pride in local neighborhoods.
United Way is pleased to be a part of this project and we appreciate the many other organizations, including Erie’s Public Schools, the Blue Coats, local artists, businesses who have donated their walls as well as the local residents who have welcomed the project into their neighborhoods. Funders to date have included the City of Erie, Erie Insurance and the Erie Community Foundation.
And this is just the beginning!