LANSING, Mich. — A warm welcome now greets all visitors as they enter the heart of downtown Williamston. The new building mural, titled Welcome, was funded by a $10,000 grant from the Lansing Economic Area Partnership’s (LEAP) Public Art for Communities (PAFC) grant program, with support from the PNC Foundation. Welcome is the latest piece of permanent public art funded by the PAFC program. Kelly Beacome of Center Street Studios was chosen by the city of Williamston Art Committee to bring the west wall of 151 S. Putman St. to life.
“We are so excited to see this project completed and on display,” said Williamston Mayor Tammy Gilroy. “The Williamston Art Committee has put in many hours over the past couple of years to develop a comprehensive placemaking strategy. With the goal to position our community as a welcoming active hub, Kelly Beacome’s mural kicks things off in a fantastic direction. Many thanks to Kelly, LEAP and PNC Foundation for making it all possible.”
The new mural adorns the side of one of the community’s most popular restaurants, The Bistro, and is intended to be the first of four welcome signs to downtown, a noticeably missing element both visitors and residents have indicated is important to add.
“Placemaking is a powerful economic development tool when strategically implemented,” said Bob Trezise, president & CEO of LEAP. “The PAFC grant program focuses on transforming strategic locations through art — the entrance of Williamston’s unique downtown being a prime example. Investing in permanent public art projects like this, enhances community image and enables Williamston and LEAP to attract people and grow businesses all across the region.”
Since 2012, the PAFC grant program has invested $250,000 across the three county Lansing region, funding 34 individual permanent art installations of varying mediums. Beacome’s mural is the most recent addition to regional placemaking success.
“Thank you to the city of Williamston and those involved with the mural process for having faith in me,” said artist Kelly Beacome. “I am excited to bring some bold and bright art to downtown Williamston — a tip of the cap to the creativity and fun of a historic town!”
In 2015, LEAP began working with PNC, a strong advocate of the PAFC grant program and regional placemaking. PNC’s annual $10,000 contribution has helped expand the program and number of pieces funded each year.
“PNC has a long history of strengthening and enriching the communities it serves,” said PNC Regional President Tim Salisbury. “This outstanding program demonstrates the power of placemaking to create vibrant public spaces that reflect the unique elements of the community.”
“Recognizing these uncertain times for our communities, small businesses and artist entrepreneurs, this project speaks to Williamston’s dedication to its future and is characteristic of the perseverance needed to make that future a bright one,” added Trezise. “We’re proud to have helped bring this project to fruition and to continue LEAP’s PAFC program in 2021.”
LEAP and PNC look forward to launching the PAFC 2021 request for proposals before the end of 2020. Stay tuned at www.purelansing.com/publicart [purelansing.com] for more updates.
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