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Governor Kelly Announces 12 Rural Communities and Organizations to Receive Funding for Mural and Public Art Projects

Jun 07, 2024

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TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today announced that 12 communities and organizations will receive a combined $78,800 to allow 20 new murals and public art projects to revive public spaces and engage residents and visitors.

“Murals and public art installations welcome people to our rural communities while developing community pride and showcasing the rich history of our state,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Investments in this program allow art to flourish and enhance public spaces for visitors and communities alike.”

The Office of Rural Prosperity’s Rural Mural Public Art grant program awardees are in communities across the state with a population of less than 15,000. The murals will highlight community gathering spaces and tourist attractions.

Each project requires a one-to-one match from the community, with the smallest of communities allowed to match the grant with in-kind donations. Seventy-five percent of the grant funding will be gifted upfront as several projects plan to start in the next few weeks. 

“Working with local partners to develop compelling places across the state is one of the initiatives detailed in the Kansas Framework for Growth – our state’s economic development strategic plan,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “The Kelly-Toland administration is keenly focused on strengthening community assets that help keep younger Kansans interested in staying here. Every completed Rural Mural is a testament to that commitment.”

Since 2021, the Office of Rural Prosperity has funded 77 murals in 38 communities. 

Awardees for FY 2025 include: 

Baxter Springs Chamber of CommerceBaxter Springs$7,500
Colby/Thomas County Chamber of CommerceColby$7,500
Greater Salina Community FoundationDamar, Palco$7,500 (2 murals)
Downs Community ConnectionDowns$7,500
City of EllisEllis$7,500
Fowler Arts CouncilFowler$7,500 (3 murals)
Hardtner Community FoundationHardtner$7,000 (4 murals)
Inman’s Museum AssociationInman$7,500
Pawnee Co. Economic Development CommissionLarned$7,500 (3 murals)
City of LeRoyLeRoy$3,000
Wabaunsee County Historical SocietyMcFarland$7,500
Melvern Community P.R.I.D.E.Melvern$1,300

“This round of Rural Murals and Public Art applications included so many communities that have not ever received funding from Commerce before,” Director of the Office of Rural Prosperity Trisha Purdon said. “We are excited to see so many empowered communities that are excited to welcome visitors and residents to witness these beautiful and creative visual expressions of community identity and history.”

For more information about Rural Mural and Public Art grants, click here.