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Barbara Armitage: Ideas for FM2 mural/banner at FM2

In this commentary, founder of FM2 addresses: First things First. Permission(s) needed. Costs? Grant odds? Banner v. Mural?
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By Barbara Armitage

It's nice to see all the support for the Farmers Market on the Square. Thank you!

The FM2 board members have discussed the possibilities and challenges of either a mural or large format banner on this wall (or any wall) for about 2 years. We agree that it would be an incredible asset to us all - what a way to greet everyone driving into Columbia. As market manager, I have gathered a great deal of information on the subject.

So, what stands in our way?

One person will need to stop saying that "someone" needs to head this project and say, "I will" make this happen. No plan no matter how wonderful can proceed without the permission of the building owner.

Sadly, cost is always a factor in a project of this scope. In this case either way we go (mural or banner) the market doesn't have the funds. I do however believe in dreaming so I wrote a large amount designated for advertising into a USDA FMPP grant request with the hope that a project of this scope could be done in the future. If I had to estimate I'd say that we have maybe a 30% chance of receiving this grant this year. I doubt that we'll get another chance to apply for this grant next year - it is currently scheduled to be cut completely from the USDA budget. There are some other funding possibilities that can be discussed when the project is set.

Banner or mural? I've researched similar projects and both methods have been used to achieve incredible results. Banners are created by a graphic designer and should be installed by professionals. Murals are painted by artists and usually require some professional work to be done i.e. stripping/cleaning the surface, base painting and sealing the finished project. Either way I would only recommend using individual professionals. You know the expression "Too many cooks spoil the soup"? Well, too many artists will burn down the kitchen!

Of course, the most difficult step in a project like this is to decide "what" to include on the wall. Knowing that you can't please everyone usually stops the dreamers right in their tracks and they never even begin. There's always an abundance of opinions from people who have no intention of lifting a finger to help. I've always thought that the people who do the work should get to make the decisions.

There are a great many people in our community who aspire to help us all continue to grow and be a wonderful community to live in. My question is this, do you want to be one of us?

This story was posted on 2017-06-07 13:25:59
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