(Courtesy of Downtown Akron Partnership)
The Downtown Akron Partnership Emerging Leaders has launched a Kickstarter campaign for #LovetheWall, a public art project in Downtown Akron. The project, which encompasses the installation of a 700-foot-long mural designed by local artist Nathan Mayfield, will be located on South Broadway Street, just north of the Robert K. Pfaff METRO RTA Transit Center. The total budget for the mural is $14,000 with a funding period of May 1 to May 22.
The mural will incorporate a timeless, colorful geometric design, along with a series of mirrored stainless steel panels inspired by international artist El Anatsui. The simple but classic look will lend vibrancy to an area that is traveled by approximately 10,000 vehicles daily and that functions as the main southern entry point to Downtown Akron. Photos of the design are on the Kickstarter campaign.
Installing the mural is part of a lifelong mission of its artist. “I remember seeing a mural as a kid on the corner of West Bartges and Main Street and thinking to myself that I’d like to paint the city too one day. #LovetheWall is my opportunity to give back to my city,” said Mayfield.
#LovetheWall is the first project to emerge from the reorganization of MyAkron, which began in 2012 as an initiative to micro-fund smaller projects. The new model, says Pete Nischt, DAP Emerging Leaders vice president, was “designed to allow everyday citizens the chance to take part in making one transformational change Downtown each year.”
“I look forward to accomplishing this goal as a community through the Kickstarter campaign and to have an opportunity to leave a “beauty mark” on our city,” said Jaclyn Flossie, secretary of DAP Emerging Leaders.
“We need to be doing everything we can to make Akron pull on the hearts of people, especially young people,” said Nischt. “We’re trying to accomplish this through public art and public programming aimed at fostering emotional connections between the city and its inhabitants. This mural will reflect all of the energy, color and diversity that is inherent in what we’re doing right now in Downtown Akron.”
The artist was selected as a result of a public RFP process. If this model is a success, the Emerging Leaders will look to fund additional public projects this way each year.
“I hope to help attract people back to Akron and to help them realize that this city is still ever changing. I want people to see it and ask ‘Hey, what’s going on in Akron?’ I hope to show that the fire is still alive here,” said Mayfield.
The DAP Emerging Leaders was established in 2010 to assist in attracting and retaining young professionals and enhancing DAP’s mission of building and promoting a vibrant, valuable Downtown. The Emerging Leaders includes members 35 years of age and younger from a variety of organizations.
About Downtown Akron Partnership
The mission of Downtown Akron Partnership (DAP) is to promote and build a vibrant and valuable Downtown. DAP is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing people, activity, business and a thriving civic life to the heart of Akron. Through strategic marketing, clean and safe programs and management of Downtown’s resources, DAP works to promote Downtown as a gathering place in the center of our community.
DAP’s members include property owners, business leaders and government officials who want to improve the image of Downtown as a safe, convenient location for businesses, working professionals and families. DAP is governed by a Board of Trustees as diverse as the interests of our city. DAP is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Akron Community Foundation and GAR Foundation.