Views Festival: Purposeful Placemaking

Wednesday Jun 28th, 2023

Views Festival, a collaborative effort between Erie Arts and Culture, United Way of Erie County and many other partners, supporters, community members and allies wrapped up last week, resulting in the placement of more than 20 new murals along United Way Safer Walking Routes to School in the City of Erie. In early June, both local and visiting artists came together to continue the work that began during last year's Purposeful Placemaking Project where 13 murals were introduced to the Erie community by the end of 2022.

"We want to put murals on all of these paths that you've identified to be safe for the kids. We want to inspire the community, inspire the kids. They see themselves in the murals," said Anne O'Dell, executive director of Erie Arts and Culture in a Your Erie television interview.

Community outcomes tied to placemaking initiatives like this include improving school attendance, building neighborhood pride and sense of place and providing mentorship and experiential learning opportunities for students at community schools. In essence, placemaking reinforces emotional bonds between people and place and brings a 'sense of purpose' to the community. For students at United Way community schools, this public art enhances their journey to and from school so they are excited and ready to learn.

This project has been created to leverage art, community schools and neighborhoods. Together, we are making a positive beautification investment in our community and are putting pride back into our community school neighborhoods.

Take a tour of the newest murals along United Way Safer Walking Routes to School.