On Activating Space in Spring


It’s March, which means springtime is upon us! The blooming flowers and warm sunshine offer us much more than a pretty scenery though; the beauties that come along with spring also provide countless opportunity to capitalize on art-based placemaking in our communities.

Focusing in on art and culture within placemaking is a really creative and effective way to help identify your assets, and give your community a story to tell. It doesn’t matter if you’re a large, busy city or a small, rural town, creative placemaking has the power to bring vibrant engagement and a true sense of place to any downtown.

Utilizing unique public spaces for public art projects can magnify the character of your community and bring life to spaces that may otherwise go unused and unseen. Here are some art-based placemaking activities that we love and are perfect for generating foot traffic and joy for people of all ages!

  1. Murals: Painting a mural is a low cost project that allows for creative expression and community engagement. Murals are also visually pleasing and bring bright color to what may usually just be bland asphalt. This simple project has the power to increase foot traffic and give your town a tangible destination people want to visit, try it out!

  2. The Little Free Library: Integrating a little free library into your community can do a wonder of great things. First of all, these little colorful boxes just look happy. They also promote reading, for everyone! Put together a community event where you decorate a little library and have everyone bring a book to put in it, has there ever been a cuter spring activity? I think not!

  3. Sidewalk Chalk: One of the most simple spring art projects to organize, yet one of the most fun! Get your community together, choose a theme, and then disperse groups all over to decorate your downtown with positive art and quotes. This is an easy way to brighten up your downtown for spring, with engagement from community members of all ages!

  4. Pop-up Shops: Who doesn’t love a good pop-up shop?! Having outdoor shopping on the Main Street of your downtown is sure to create foot traffic. You can also support small business owners in the process - reach out to the local artists, crafters and bakers in your town to expose and highlight the unique character of your community!

— Lindsay