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Leon County and KCCI Kick Off Placemaking Week with Brushstrokes for Books

Leon County and KCCI Kick Off Placemaking Week with Brushstrokes for Books

Leon County Government and the Knight Creative Communities Institute (KCCI) kicked off this year’s Placemaking Week with the Brushstrokes for Books community mural painting event at the LeRoy Collins Leon County Main Library. Painted with assistance from muralist Cosby Hayes, the 2021 KCCI Community Catalysts and community volunteers, the mural is located along the 285-foot retaining wall at the Call Street entrance of the Main Library. The mural beautifies the entrance, welcomes visitors to the space and helps enhance the County’s sense of place by adding new public art to the community.

“Leon County and KCCI continue our strong partnership by engaging the community in fun, collaborative public art projects like Brushstrokes for Books,” said Leon County Commission Chairman Rick Minor. “At the heart of our community, the Leon County Main Library is the perfect place to kick off Placemaking Week and celebrate what makes the County such a great place to live.”

Brushstrokes for Books marks the start of the third annual Placemaking Week, which runs from September 24 through October 1. Hosted by KCCI, Placemaking Week engages citizens through innovative social events and hands-on community building to help strengthen the connection between people and the places they share. For this year’s Placemaking Week, KCCI has partnered with Leon County Government, LeMoyne Arts, the Market District, and Leon County Schools to bring free art events into the community.

“Today’s public art project is one of several the County has brought to life with the engagement and vision of KCCI and community volunteers,” said Leon County Administrator Vincent S. Long. “With our many partners, we have co-created a lasting and beautiful entryway to the County’s Main Library downtown.”

In addition to Brushstrokes for Books, Placemaking Week features four other events themed around creating spaces where community members can come together, beautify the area and bridge divides:

  • Step & See: Tuesday, September 28 from 11:45 a.m. – 1 p.m.
    Location: Tour begins at the LeRoy Collins Leon County Main Library by the “Happy Kitties” Art of the Box on North Bronough Street.
    Bring your lunch and comfy shoes and join us for an art-filled walking tour. Along the guided walk, discover diverse downtown art, hear from local artists, and end at LeMoyne Arts to enjoy your lunch in the courtyard. The walking tour is approximately 1.2 miles total and will loop back to the beginning. Register here.
  • Painting with a Purpose: Wednesday, September 29 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
    Location: Outside of Hopkins Eatery, 1415 Market Street
    Watch a “Welcome to TLH” mural come to life in Market District. This live painting event will be led by Maclay School art students under the leadership of professional muralist and art teacher Sarah Painter.
  • Makerspace Masterpieces: Wednesday, September 29 from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
    Location: Outside of Tasty Pastry Bakery, 1355 Market Street
    The Creative Academics program at the Market District’s Gilchrist Elementary School is hosting a pop-up art shop, “Makerspace Masterpieces.” Guests are encouraged to bring their creativity (or lack thereof) to help turn trash into treasure. With the aid of Gilchrist Creative Academics students, participants will have the opportunity to create a unique piece of mixed media artwork from odds and ends.
  • Painting the Future School Supply Drive: All Week
    Support the students at John G. Riley and Bond Elementary Schools by donating new art supplies. Bring art supply donations to any of the Placemaking Week events or drop them off at either of the schools. Inspire and help prepare the next generation of Tallahassee-Leon County artists.

“Placemaking Week is an opportunity to connect, engage, meet new friends, and beautify different areas of our community,” said Betsy Couch, KCCI’s Executive Director. “This year’s Catalyst team has shaped Tallahassee’s identity through art-related placemaking endeavors, which help drive economic development, bring a wide variety of people together, and retain talent. We are excited to focus Placemaking Week on art-related activities this year.”

Placemaking Week events come as the 2021 KCCI Catalyst Team celebrates nearly a year of successful projects around the community, including the expansion of the Art of the Box program to include 20 newly wrapped utility boxes and the announcement of the “September 11 Memorial at Florida’s Capital City” featuring a salvaged beam from the World Trade Center’s South Tower in partnership with Leon County Government and Team Guardian Inc. The memorial is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

Public art projects like Brushstrokes for Books are aligned with the Leon County Public Library’s Essential Libraries Initiative (ELI) plan. Developed in part with grant funding from KCCI, the ELI re-envisions the Library to address the changing needs of residents and trends in library use. As part of this strategic plan, the Library will continue to support residents in their creative, intellectual, and recreational pursuits and foster cultural enrichment through programming, events, and collaborations with creative organizations. Learn more about the Essential Libraries Initiative here.

For more information about KCCI’s Placemaking Week, click here. 

To see event photos, visit KCCI’s Facebook page or visit Leon County Government’s Facebook photo album.