$25K grant to fund crosswalk art in Long Beach’s Washington neighborhood

The Washington neighborhood will get new public art on crosswalks this year as part of a $25,000 grant aimed to enhance pedestrian and public safety in Long Beach.

Bloomberg Philanthropies Asphalt Art Initiative awarded to the Department of Public Works, in partnership with the Arts Council for Long Beach, will fund a crosswalk art installation at the intersection of Chestnut Avenue and 15th Street to improve street safety, “revitalize public space and engage the local community,” the city said in a statement.

The grant is designed to fund “visual art interventions” on roadways, pedestrian spaces and public infrastructure in cities across the nation. Long Beach is one of 26 cities across the country that received funding.

“When we heard that we were awarded the Bloomberg Asphalt Art grant, the whole team and board were ecstatic,” Arts Council for Long Beach Executive Director Griselda Suarez said in a statement. “The opportunity to increase safety and nurture neighborhood identity through art is special. So many lives will be impacted by the project and it serves as a spark for more collaboration with other organizations in the surrounding area.”

Public Works and the Arts Council plan to collaborate with community partners to determine the design, theme and other artistic elements for the artwork, according to the city. The Arts Council has partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles to lead the community engagement with the neighborhood with support from local organizations, according to the city.

City officials encourage community members to provide input on the crosswalk by completing an online public survey, which is available in English, Spanish and Khmer. More engagement opportunities will be available in April for input on the vision, artist selection and other logistics, according to the city.

The Washington neighborhood has seen similar investments in the past years, including a utility box art project and a block party that offered health and wellness resources to residents.

For more information about the upcoming project, click here.

Local artists to cover utility boxes in Long Beach’s Washington neighborhood

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Crystal Niebla is the West Long Beach reporter through the Report for America program. Philanthropic organizations pledged to cover the local donor portion of her grant-funded position with the Post. If you want to support Crystal's work, you can donate to her Report For America position at lbpost.com/support.
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