By Kathy Chouteau
Community members heading to downtown Richmond might notice some vibrant new additions: a series of street banners recently installed throughout the district, courtesy of a recent NPA mini grant from the Richmond Arts Commission, per Richmond Main Street Initiative (RMSI).
According to the nonprofit, the new street banners not only spotlight “the rich history and diversity of our community,” but also a number of local businesses in the downtown area, including CoBiz Richmond, LeftSide Printing, Gratitude Afrocentric Gift Shop and San Francisco Pizza.
Each banner features a different downtown business via an artistic rendering by artist Tiffany Conway, along with its name, area of service and owner. A base color surrounds Conway’s titled artwork, in fames of yellow, red, blue and green, according to what the Standard spotted on a recent downtown stroll. A good place to see the street banners is in the vicinity of Macdonald Ave. and 15th St.
Richmond Main Street Executive Director Andrea Portillo-Knowles applauded the organization’s partnerships and called the street banner effort “just the beginning.” She added that RMSI is determined now more than ever “to make our downtown what we know it can be; a place where we honor the past and look forward to the future.”
The street banners were sponsored by The City of Richmond Arts & Culture Commission (RACC) and The Public Art Advisory Committee (PAAC). Richmond was one of several grantees receiving a grant “encouraging the arts that shape Richmond’s unique identity, setting us apart from other urban areas,” according to RMSI.
As with most projects benefitting the city, it takes a village. RMSI took time to give a shout-out to “the City of Richmond, Public Works, Streets Division Supervisor Carlos Castro and his team, Jeff Fields and Isaac Flores as they tackled two projects in one day—the Juneteenth Parade and banner installation.”
The organization added, “It’s people like Carlos, Jeff and Isaac that make projects like this happen in the wonderful City of Pride & Purpose.”