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AARP grant will help fund Danville community mural

HEART OF DANVILLE

News release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — AARP has announced that The Heart of Danville’s mural project is one of the awardees for its 2018 AARP Community Challenge grant program. The grant program is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative that helps communities become great places to live for residents of all ages.

A total of $1.3 million will be distributed to fund 129 “quick action” projects across the country, helping communities make immediate improvements and jumpstart long-term progress to support residents of all ages. Nearly 1,600 applications were received from non-profits and government entities for the program, now in its second year.

The Heart of Danville will receive a $5,000 grant from the AARP Community Challenge for a new community mural to be installed on the side of the Derby Shoppe & Raggs building on Third Street. The mural is anticipated to cost $7,500, meaning the AARP grant will cover two-thirds of the expenses.

“In the time of budget cuts, it is exciting to receive this grant,” said Nick Wade, Heart of Danville director. “The mural is a big project for the organization, and one that we know will create a positive impact for the downtown commercial district.”

The Heart of Danville selected Andee Rudloff, a nationally-respected mural artist from Bowling Green, to complete the 60-foot-by-20-foot mural.

“I’ve been familiar with Andee’s work for a number of years and have always been drawn to the vibrant colors and engaging designs,” said Kate Snyder, Heart of Danville Design Committee chair. “And I can’t wait to be part of the actual painting – what a terrific opportunity.”

Snyder was talking about Rudloff’s artistic process, which creates various ways for the community to be engaged. The first opportunity is happening right now, as the Heart of Danville is seeking the community’s input on answering the question, “What makes Danville historically bold?”

The community’s answers will impact the final design of the mural, making it a community project.

The second phase of community input happens on Saturday, Sept. 22, when the community is invited to come out and help Rudloof paint the mural. She will paint outlines of the image, then the public will be invited to participate in a “community painting day” to help fill in designs. Rudloff will complete it with any touch-ups needed.

“I’m excited to see Danville embracing pubic art as a way of expressing our identity and vision for our community,” said Snyder.

Each of the AARP Community Challenge grant projects, which must be completed by Nov. 5, is designed to achieve one or more of the following outcomes:

• create vibrant public places that improve open spaces, parks and access to other amenities;

• deliver a range of transportation and mobility options that increase connectivity, walkability, bikeability, and/or access to public and private transit; and

• support the availability of a range of housing that increases accessible and affordable housing options.

The full list of grantees can be found at www.aarp.org/communitychallenge.

“AARP has teams on the ground in communities across the country who hear from mayors, community leaders and local residents about the value of getting quick wins to create long-term change. We developed the Community Challenge Grant Program to answer that call and help build momentum for more livable communities nationwide,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP executive vice president for community, state and national affairs. “This year, we are proud to fund more projects in more communities in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.”