Art is the Window to Community in Downtown St. Johns

(lively music) – Hello, and welcome to another
edition of the LEAP Weekly. This week, we’ll head over
to St. John’s to check out their brand new public art for communities mural installation, Eyes
are the Windows to the Soul. This week’s member moment
features PNC Financial Services, whose partnership with LEAP on the Public Art of Communities Program has allowed us to expand its reach and offer three grants
of $10,000 each year to communities throughout the tri-county. – So the rain held off
for our press event, but we had a little bit of
change in plans for this video. (laughs) We’re here in downtown St. John’s to talk about this
beautiful mural behind us. So tell us a little bit about the project and the journey to get here. – Some of our local artists
asked us to submit for the grant to put a mural on this wall. So as a city, we submitted
for the grant to LEAP, put our art committee together
with members of the community and the downtown area. To choose the artist, we
really had five great artists submit suggestions to us. Ultimately, we chose
Tracy and Tracey’s design for the community mural because we liked her community
involvement along with the mural. The paint by number and just the community day for everybody to come in and make it really a community project. When community members have
something to do with the art that goes up in their community, they just care a little bit more. I love involving the community. And I love hearing people say “I didn’t think I could do that but I did. “Look, I was a part of this.” And just having that teamwork aspect of it I think is really fun. And there’s a lot of ownership
people have over this piece because they were involved with it. So- – Yeah. – Yeah. – That was the inspiration behind it. – Yeah. – Awesome. – The community painting
day was great because we did it during our Mint Festival, and so there were people
here for the parade. And while they waited for the parade, they came over and painted. We had hundreds of people come through and just paint little sections, and it was really cool throughout the day to watch it go from looking
like a coloring book, basically a white wall with just outlines to just bursting with color. – Yeah. – So… – And we saw a like lot
of groups come together, so a lot of generational
groups like a grandma, a mother, and a daughter. You know, so it was
really neat to see that. Some people that work together
came out to paint together. Siblings were painting together. Cousins were painting together, you know? It was a real together kind of a thing. – Yeah. – It was a fun family day. (laughing) – Well we’re really excited to see this mural come to completion. Hopefully you can have some sunny days before too long to do that. – Yes. – And we’re really glad that you were able to take advantage of this grant program and bring this project to life. – Thank you. – Yeah, yeah. Thank you. I mean, we’re super grateful
to LEAP and to PNC Bank. This is, like they said
on the press event, our third LEAP grant for the city of St. John’s first art mural. The first two were sculptures,
and so we’re excited and to look into the future
for what we can do next. – Thanks so much for tuning in. As always, if you haven’t already, make sure to subscribe to the
LEAP weekly email newsletter to get the latest and greatest
in economic development news delivered straight to your inbox. We’ll see you here next week. (lively music)

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