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'Insta-Mural' Proposal out of Green Bay Wins AARP's Small Dollar, Big Impact Grant

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A proposal from On Broadway, Inc. in Green Bay to create a rotating community “insta-mural” has been selected to receive one of AARP Wisconsin’s Small Dollar, Big Impact grants.

"In our world today, there are a lot of people struggling and a lot of voices that want to be heard. To bring people together and share the good word, On Broadway would like to create a community insta-mural with a sign that has the capability for the messaging to be switched out monthly,” said Brian H. Johnson, Executive Director of On Broadway, Inc.

“Not only will this beautify our district, which needs extra help since funding for beautification was cut due to COVID-19, but it will also be a space for our community to submit messages they would like to share with each other,” Johnson explained.

“Messages will be selected and changed out monthly, and the community will be able to revisit it regularly to see the updated messages and take pictures with it to share in the social media world. The goal is to provide words that uplift our community,” Johnson said.

Examples of messages on the rotating mural, Johnson said, could include: "If you can be anything in this world, be kind"; "Shop Local. Stay Positive"; "Tough times never last but strong people do"; and "The time is always right to do what is right."

The judging panel for the grant loved the idea, saying, “this is a nice project that has more meaning than just beautifying an area.” Judges said it is a creative idea that “supports local business owners and could create some positive stories.”

“AARP’s commitment to funding projects for community enhancement is well-documented across the country,” Johnson said. “We’re thrilled to have our project selected to further enhance the overarching theme that neighborhood investment doesn’t always have to be robust. The collective impact of small, meaningful projects can transform a district.”

AARP Wisconsin’s Small Dollar, Big Impact grants are being awarded once a month now through November. “These grants are exactly what the name describes – short-term, low-cost solutions that could have remarkable impacts on the shaping of neighborhoods and cities,” said Darrin Wasniewski, Associate State Director of Community Outreach for AARP Wisconsin.

“There are so many great ideas and proposals for making life better in communities across Wisconsin. We know how impactful $1,000 can be. This is our way of extending some seed money to get these projects off the ground.”

Other communities that have been awarded grants so far this year include Osceola, Platteville, Milwaukee, and Beaver Dam. Future grant applications will be due by Aug. 17, Sept. 21 and Oct. 19.

The grant program is open to some nonprofits and government entities. Other organizations will be considered on a case-by-case basis. A full listing of requirements and expectations, as well as a link to apply for the grants, can be found here.

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