A collaborative project aimed at creating murals for Topeka neighborhoods has received $10,000 in funding through the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission.
Sarah Carkhuff Fizell, executive director of ARTSConnect, formally announced the grant Thursday for the Topeka Mural Project. The funding also includes $10,000 in matching funds, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported. The mural project is a partnership among ARTSConnect, the Topeka Police Department, Safe Streets and Downtown Topeka Inc.
"It is our hope that the entire community will embrace this project and that it can become an example of how the people in our city really can make a difference one brush stroke at a time," Fizell said in a prepared statement.
The concept for the Topeka Mural Project was first announced in February by police Lt. Joe Perry, who said the plan calls for murals in areas that had been hard hit by crime. The project borrows from similar efforts in other cities and aims to reduce crime while boosting community involvement and attracting new businesses and growth to the areas.
The first mural was painted in June. Local artists came up with the mural designs, and neighborhood residents turned out to help with the painting. Several local companies donated supplies.
"The Topeka Mural Project is an example of an innovative and creative solution to reducing crime and revitalizing neighborhoods," Perry said. This grant ensures the long-term success of the project and we are excited to watch neighbors become friends and our community become an even better place to live."