Oct. 27—Niagara Falls is one of 26 U.S. cities to be selected for a $25,000 Asphalt Art Grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies. The grant application was submitted by the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area in partnership with the City of Niagara Falls. It aims to infuse impactful community-driven advocacy and development in the North End of the city by enhancing safety for pedestrians and cyclists, improving public spaces, and installing vibrant crosswalk murals at intersections.
“We are so excited for this opportunity in the North End community, a neighborhood with a legacy of creativity, resilience, and courage. It’s an extension of our ongoing work with the community to bring attention to the City’s Underground Railroad history and local stories,” said Aly Spongr, interim director of the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center, an organization working in partnership with the NFNHA and NF Murals.
Added Saladin Allah, project coordinator for the NF Murals, the public art initiative of the NFNHA, “This is excellent news. In our predominantly Black community here in the North End of Niagara Falls, active community participation in these art projects have enhanced a sense of pride, ownership and has given a voice to our community’s authentic identity.”
The partnership of the NFNHA and the City of Niagara Falls has pointed to three specific locations that form a triangle in the North End: three major intersections connecting high traffic areas to the widely used Legends Park recreational basketball courts, the Niagara Falls Public Library, Henry Abate Elementary School, and the Niagara Falls Transportation Authority Portage Road Transportation Center.
“As Bloomberg Philanthropies points out,” Mayor Robert Restaino said, “Vibrant public artwork and smarter street design can inspire residents and have tangible impacts on improving safety and the lives of our residents. These creative initiatives are important to enhance Niagara Falls, strengthen our pride, and bring enthusiasm for something better to come.”
The planning for the project is underway with implementation in the spring.