Two “platinum” level sponsors who each pledged $4,500 or more have the North Anthony Corridor Group’s Mandala Murals project well on the way to achieving the organization’s $13,000 fund-raising goal.
The corridor group is using the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority’s CreatINg Places program and a crowdfunding platform developed by Patronicity to raise money for the project. The $13,000 raised by the donations will be matched with an equal amount by the state, bringing the total funding for the mural project to $26,000.
The mural project would add artwork to the north- and west-facing walls of the building at 3511-3523 N. Anthony Blvd. that houses The Firefly coffee house, the Health Food Shoppe and Studio Seva Yoga.
It was proposed by muralist Jerrod Tobias, who painted a cardinals mural on the south wall of the building in the summer of 2016.
“A mural painting can jar people from their daily routine and allow them a moment of sublime reflection,” Tobias said.
“It has an intangible quality that draws people together to consider their sense of place. It is a direct method of redefining that sense of place.”
The CreatINg Spaces program has been used by several other northeast Indiana communities, including Warsaw, Wabash and Decatur, to raise money for projects that beautify and enhance downtown areas.
One of the corridor group’s board members came across the program and suggested the organization give it a try, said Allison Demaree, another board member.
“They’re giving away tons of money, so we thought, this is a big project … let’s go for it,” said Demaree, whose family owns the Firefly.
At the time it was painted, the cardinals mural was the largest in the city. The new mural will continue the corridor-group’s efforts to make the neighborhood commercial district “hip and cool — a destination where people will come shop and hang out and view public art,” Demaree added.
The neighborhood already has a lot going for it, including unique local businesses, access to the river greenway and several nearby schools,” she added. “We want to make it vibrant and welcoming.”
Founded in 2013, the North Anthony Corridor Group has enhanced the corridor with sculptures and banners, facilitated connections to nearby college campuses and the Rivergreenway trail system, increased public awareness of the neighborhood and provided a voice for local businesses and organizations.
The crowd-funding campaign concluded May 31.
For details and updates on the amount raised, visit patronicity.com/mandalamural.