It is once again time to love your block.
A number of neighborhood improvement projects will be set in motion in Richmond starting Sept. 29, the launch date for the second round of Love Your Block Initiative mini-grants.
The launch event will run from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the first floor of the Richmond BART Parking Garage, 1600 Macdonald Ave.
The event will also celebrate the return of a popular interactive art installation that was temporarily displayed at the Richmond BART Station last year. But this time, the BART chalkboard (pictured above) will ask residents what they would accomplish with $2,000 grants rather than $1,000.
The Love Your Block initiative is a national mini-grant program by Cities of Services. Richmond was one of several cities to win a three-year commitment to fund local improvement projects “one block at a time.” To do so, city officials encourage neighbors and community groups to band together to apply for mini-grants to carry out projects. Applications for mini-grants will be accepted from Sept. 29 through Nov. 3.
In order to spread the word about the program widely, Love Your Block’s official launch is being held in conjunction with the annual Art in Windows opening reception.
Art in Windows, led by the Richmond Main Street Initiative, displays artworks from local artists in vacant storefronts around downtown Richmond. This year, the program is celebrating children’s art. Featured works will include those created during a project run by a 10-year-old recipient of a Love Your Block mini-grant, Azia Banagan. Also on exhibit will be 15 original illustrations by Mira Vista Elementary students as part of The Scribbler Artist Project, funded by a city arts grant.
The free launch event, which includes light refreshments, is sponsored by Richmond Main Street Initiative, Richmond Arts & Culture Commission, with support from the City of Richmond, Love Your Block, and Mr. Abdo Nasser.