ImaginArt in the Alleys

City of Marion

Funding Received: 2014
Marion, IA
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
March 24, 2017

The City of Marion is one of Iowa’s fastest growing communities. So, why are people moving here? Learn by listening to Mayor Nicolas AbouAssaly’s 2017 State of the City Address. His closing remarks included statistics that a Gallup poll released in February, such as… 68% of Marion residents couldn’t imagine living in a better community, and 80% (!) feel that Marion is the perfect place for them. Marion residents take pride in their community’s reputation for public safety – including being recognized as Iowa’s safest city for its size for the past 14 years. Unsurprisingly, any instance of disrespect for public and private property is taken as an affront to the entire community. When a vandal recently applied spray paint over the head of the young girl featured in our stage mural, people were very surprised and dismayed. The layer of spray paint was removed, but our artist from Miami will need to fly back to repair the damage as soon as warm weather allows in April. One lesson learned, is that special anti-graffiti sealants can be applied to protect valuable public art from spray paints commonly used by vandals, and a variety of other proactive strategies can be used to ward off trouble.

In order to deter criminal behavior and create a pleasant ambience, several light poles were installed in key locations throughout the alleys last fall. As soon as possible, several surveillance cameras will also be installed to monitor pedestrian activity. Marion’s placemaking project will not officially open until May 20, but with temperatures climbing, many people have been curious to explore the area. The public is being asked to help maintain the alleys as a safe, clean, welcoming place, and report any suspicious activity or inappropriate behavior to the MPD. In order to share information on what the City of Marion is doing to prevent vandalism, reporter Matthew Lange provided an excellent news feature that aired March 22nd on CBS2.