PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – Phoenix Community Development Services recently received an AARP Community Challenge grant to improve its downtown location.
The grant valued at $ 23,825 will go to a new mural on the side of the non-profit agency’s administration and housing building at 202 NE Madison St.
Kristen Berchtold, director of development for the agency, said the grant is typically given to support communities across the country and help create better living spaces for people.
She said adding a large-scale mural to the building would create a positive and welcoming atmosphere in the alleyway in the neighborhood where the building is located.
“Public art has tons of benefits. It creates a sense of community, it creates a sense of pride, ”said Berchtold. “So we wanted to turn this kind of dreary city lane into a place our two residents could enjoy, but the whole community could enjoy.”
Berchtold said they would work with Heather Ford Kodrick, a local artist and board member, to create the mural. She said they will take the advice of their consumers and residents when formulating the design.
She said they weren’t sure exactly what the mural would look like, but that it would include themes of home, diversity, caring, kindness and belonging. They will work until the fall to finish it.
Berchtold said the mural will also fit into the agency’s Madison North apartment project right next to the building.
“It will be 24 apartments for the homeless and the disabled that will open later this fall,” said Berchtold.
She said this project will also include green spaces in the lane, benches, landscaping and lighting that will complement the new mural.