Crowdfunding campaign launched for art mural

IRON MOUNTAIN DAILY News Publisher Corky DeRoeck, left, shows off the site for the next Power of Words project mural with artist Mia Tavonatti, DDA Director Paula Craven and DDA Chairwoman Megan Blomquist. A crowdfunding effort has begun for the project. (Theresa Proudfit/Daily News photo)

LANSING — A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to help fund a second Power of Words wall mural in downtown Iron Mountain.

If the Power of Words Art Mural2 campaign reaches its $10,000 crowdfunding goal by April 29, the project will secure a matching grant from Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Public Spaces Community Places program.

“We are pleased to partner with Iron Mountain’s DDA (Downtown Development Authority) and the entire community to help bring this beautiful mural to life and add to the vibrancy of downtown Iron Mountain,” said Katharine Czarnecki, MEDC vice president of community development. “Crowdfunding is an innovative way for residents, businesses, and other stakeholders to generate excitement, pool resources, and fill funding gaps to activate great public spaces and community places.”

The campaign is being offered through the Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity. For project details or to donate, go to www.Patronicity.com/PowerOfWords2.

Since December, Iron Mountain residents have been able to vote online at http://powerofwordsproject.org/vote/ for the word they feel best describes the future vision of the community. The deadline to vote ends today.

Once the votes are tallied, award-winning artist and Iron Mountain native Mia Tavonatti, along with a team of professional artists and volunteers, will paint a mural representing the chosen word in June on the west facade of The Daily News building, 215 E. Ludington St.

The Power of Words project began in 2013, with residents selecting the word “Believe” for the first mural on the west exterior wall of the Blackstone Pizza Company building.

“The first Power of Words project mural has received positive feedback in our community and continues to be a point of pride for our downtown,” DDA program director Paula Craven said. “These beautiful murals are important, because they bring life and culture to the heart of our city. The DDA is a proud partner of this event and we are overjoyed to have Mia return to Iron Mountain to complete the second Power of Words project.”

Funding for the project will support painting materials and supplies, storage unit and scaffolding, promotional materials, T-shirts for volunteers and team, wall preparation, and upkeep/improvements to existing POWP.

Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League and Patronicity.

“The word mural concept in Iron Mountain is a great way to create a sense of place and, if supported, will be a source of pride for community supporters for years to come,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League.

The Public Spaces Community Places initiative started in 2014 with MEDC providing matched funding of up to $50,000 for community improvement projects throughout Michigan. As of March 2, MEDC has provided $3,293,500 in matching grants.

Since the launch of the program, 102 projects have been completed with nearly $3.9 million raised from 17,702 individual donors.