The City of Dubuque’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, in partnership with Green Dubuque, has been awarded a $25,000 national grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies. The Asphalt Art Initiative is a new program from Bloomberg Philanthropies created to help cities use art and design to improve street safety, revitalize public spaces, and engage their communities. The program not only seeks to create vibrant public spaces but also looks to build city capacity for working with artists and community groups on projects involving transportation infrastructure.
This project will enhance 14 bus shelter locations throughout Dubuque with painted murals on the sidewalk surface under and around the shelters to draw attention to the City’s extensive and accessible public transit system as a community asset while encouraging residents to actively partner in the City’s Climate Action Plan and celebrate those that already do. The project also advances goals and priorities of the City’s Arts and Culture Master Plan to make arts and cultural resources and activities available in every neighborhood in the city and county, make art more visible in all aspects of daily life in Dubuque, and facilitate the presence and participation of arts and culture at non-cultural activities and venues.
Feedback from the users of Dubuque’s public transit will be collected throughout the fall of 2020 to inform a call for artists to be launched in spring 2021. Community members will be invited to take part in project installation and celebration in the summer and fall of 2021 in anticipation of the Growing Sustainable Communities Conference slated for October 12-13, 2021 in Dubuque. The City’s Office of Sustainable Communities and Transportation Services Department are also involved in the project’s planning and implementation.
The project’s primary funding source is the Bloomberg Philanthropies grant with in-kind and additional support from City of Dubuque.