Intersections along Broadway St. prepare for a facelift as Paint the Pavement nears

On Saturday, June 4, Art Reach will welcome Mt. Pleasant locals downtown to participate in a community-wide art project, and no experience is required.

Three intersections along E. Broadway St. – S. Main St., S. University Ave., and S. Franklin St. – will be given a facelift by participants as they apply colorful paints to pre-taped geometric designs.

Amy Powell, Executive Director of Art Reach, 111 E. Broadway St., says the project has been happening for over a decade and aims to achieve multiple goals within the community.

“One of our biggest goals is community involvement. We strive to make it completely accessible, so even those with mobility issues can participate,” says Powell. Participants are able to sit, stand, or lay as they use the brushes and rollers available on site, including extenders for those who need to stay off the ground.

Paint the pavement participants come in all shapes and sizes.“But another goal is placemaking. We want people to take ownership in these cool art installations,” Powell adds. For this reason, people of all ages and abilities are encouraged to paint for as long as they would like, whether it be just in passing or for hours.

An additional perk of the project could be accident reduction, according to a new study by Bloomberg Philanthropies. Findings indicated that asphalt art, including intersection murals, led to a significant reduction in crashes involving a pedestrian, as well as a decrease in the overall crash rate.

This year’s Paint the Pavement event will begin at 10 am, though volunteers are needed beforehand for set-up. Individuals or groups that would be interested in volunteering before, during, or after the event for clean-up should contact Powell by email.

Aside from volunteers, the City of Mt. Pleasant also plays a pivotal role in the success of Paint the Pavement.

Powell says, “The city provides barricades and power-washing, and they secure grant funding for the project. It can be expensive. We need gallons and gallons of paint, rollers, and duct tape. So much tape!”

Art Reach uses the hashtag #MakeMemories often, and Powell believes that making memories is actually what is most important about this event.

“I hope that people can think back as adults on the memories they made as kids here. That they can remember participating and then do something like this with their own kids.”

Read more articles by Jennifer Veitengruber.

Jennifer Veitengruber has spent the last 13 years as a teacher in Bay City, Michigan. She earned her bachelor's degree from Saginaw Valley State University as a Secondary Education teacher with a major in English and minor in history. In 2019, she earned her master’s degree from SVSU as a K-12 Literacy Specialist. Currently, she is also a freelance writer for Route Bay City. She resides in Bangor Township with her husband, two daughters, and four Labradoodles; her son is currently stationed in Washington with the United States Army. Aside from writing, she enjoys traveling the beautiful state of Michigan, reading, hunting, and time with family and friends.