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Marion shows off plans for putting art in alleyways

By Melissa Dawkins, KCRG-TV9 | April 2, 2015 |

MARION — Renderings were on display of the city’s plans so far to spruce up some alleys in the city’s uptown area.

It’s called ImagineArt in the Alleys, and Thursday night was the second of two open houses asking for input on its designs.

Marion is planning a major street project that will limit access to some businesses along Seventh Avenue in coming years.

So, the city wants to make the alleys more inviting with a $350,000 grant it received last year from ArtPlace America.

By improving alleyways, city leaders say businesses will be able to use their back entrances during construction.

Marion was one of 55 communities in the nation to get the grant, and the only one in Iowa. Now, project leaders are reaching out to artists across the country to expand upon the designs already in place.

The art director for the project says this will help improve the city as a whole.

“Everybody’s got alleys. We’re trying to create a place-making project that invites the public into an underutilized space, like an alley. If we can do it here, people can do it everywhere,” Karen Hoyt said.

Hoyt says the city must use all of the grant money by the end of the year.

She says they’re planning to store the art projects once they’re done and unveil them in the spring of 2016.


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