Murals, sculptures, yarn bombing and more—put them in a community space, and they become public art. You may be surprised to learn that combining public art with creative giveaways can have a powerful impact on a community and its residents.
How public art improves communities
In addition to improving the appearance of community spaces, public art has also been shown to make life better for people. Hospital patients report less pain and faster healing in art-rich environments. Public art also:
- Increases the sense of belonging while decreasing mental health issues for some people.
- Can help boost the economic health of the community by attracting visitors.
- Provides work opportunities for artists as they create or manage projects.
If you want to see the positive impact public art can have on your community, consider trying one of these projects.
Create an envelope exchange
Build a wall of envelopes and allow community members to write notes of encouragement for one another. Every person who takes a note from an envelope writes a replacement note for the next person. Provide notepads and pens to make it easy for everyone to participate.
Make a bottle cap mural
Bottle caps, a cool design, paint, glue, and a handful of artists, students or community members are all you need to build a gorgeous and creative bottle cap mural. Thank people who provide caps with a bottle opener.
Create a conversation
Create a public bucket list by providing a large chalkboard—or covering a public wall in chalkboard paint. Using the prompt “Before I Die,” community members can share their life goals. Provide a creative promotional item like chalk to visitors so they can add their own words or drawings.
Build a birdhouse community
Creative giveaways can double as a unifying community project. Stress the importance of nature within the community by creating homes for birds. Invite community members to sponsor and decorate a variety of birdhouses.
South of the border, Deschutes County, Oregon, found a creative way to get residents to think about waste and recycling. Create a display or billboard from commonly wasted items to share information about waste reduction and recycling in your community. You can also give away a creative promotional item like a magnet made from recycled materials to share tips on how to reduce and reuse.
Public art creates opportunities
Public art and creative giveaways can bring communities together. And every piece of art creates opportunities to make your community a better, happier place.