KCMO receives Asphalt Art grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies

Butterfly Mural

Butterfly mural in Asheville, NC, by Sound Mind Creative. // Photo by Justin Mitchell, Courtesy Bloomberg Philanthropies

KCMO Public Works has been awarded a $25,000 national grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies, in partnership with Midtown KC Now and Street Smarts Design + Build.

The Asphalt Art initiative is a new program designed to help cities use art and design to create to improve street safety, revamp public spaces, and engage communities. The program from Bloomberg not only aims to make public spaces vibrant but also build city capacity for working with artists and community groups on projects involving transportation infrastructure.

The project is set to start this summer with a goal to install in the fall and it’ll enhance one to three intersections along Westport between Broadway and Main Street. Changes can be seen through asphalt paintings in the intersections, crosswalks filled with color, activated bulb-outs, micromobility parking, and street trees. Feedback from businesses and organizations in the area will assist the art design and help with installation.

“This Asphalt Art Project will build on our ongoing efforts to create more opportunities for Kansas Citians to get outdoors and will help the City revitalize public spaces for all to enjoy,” Mayor Quinton Lucas said. “I am proud that Kansas City is leveraging community partnerships for neighborhood projects, and I look forward to seeing local artists’ work on the streets of Westport.”

The goals of the project are to improve safety and the pedestrian experience through slower traffic speeds, shorter crossing distances, and enhanced vibrancy and beautification. The art will be the foundation of improvements that’ll extend up and down the streets of Midtown. The impacts will be measured through data taken before the project starts and after it finishes.

Kansas City, Missouri is one of sixteen cities in the United States to receive the grant, joining the likes of Dubuque, Iowa, and Trenton, New Jersey as small and medium-sized cities to get an extreme makeover.

Categories: Culture