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20/20 Vision, Pt. 1: The Streetscape Mural

The Douglas Design District’s president, Janelle King (The Workroom), has been very busy. Between managing a successful local business and dreaming up community-building projects like Avenue Art Days and LevelUP, her 2020 Vision initiative is finally coming into focus. Made possible by a gift to the DDD from Jill Docking (in honor of her late husband, Tom), April 13th and April 20th from 9-5pm, volunteers will take to Douglas Avenue from Washington to Hydraulic to create an ambitious, vibrant, and intricately painted street mural.

The bold, lively mural design comes from Bill Gardner (Gardner Design) and is the first project to be executed in a series of planned aesthetic and functional improvements throughout the Douglas Design District. Gardner’s modern, yet classical, design symbolizes a unified community district and celebrates the diversity of the many small businesses and people that call the DDD home.

Project Manager Josh Tripoli (Lupoli Collective), Kristin Beal (Harvester Arts) and her WSU “Intro to Community & Social Practice” class, as well as volunteers from all over Wichita, will work alongside Traffic Control Services, utilizing industrial paint sprayers and large 10x12ft stencils to paint the mural. Although planned as an “interim” aesthetic solution, the mural project serves to introduce key elements of future infrastructure like crosswalks, angled parking, and raised medians.

Workdays begin 9am at The Workroom (150 N Cleveland) but anyone who’d like to help can join volunteers on Douglas at any time throughout the day. Along with moving stencils (weighing around 30 lbs), volunteers will use paint brushes for color touch-ups and assist with materials on site. Lunch is from 12-1pm, coffee, water, and snacks are provided, and traffic will be reduced to single lanes both days to ensure the safety of volunteers.

The DDD’s support of the Arts and business in the area has been tremendous and continues to raise the city’s profile. With increased visibility, walkable streets, and a strong, singular identity, businesses grow, communities thrive, and we all share in the reward. The Douglas Design District hopes that this visionary project will help see these permanent, long-term goals break ground by 2020. The City Commission is aiming to start in 2023, but contacting your City Council member can make a world of difference. With the next NCAA tournament on schedule for 2021, let’s make it happen!

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