Case Study: Brattleboro High Street Mural
Epsilon Spires, an arts gallery and venue on Brattleboro’s Main Street, identified the entrance to Brattleboro’s downtown needed activation and took action to bring a new mural to town.
Jamie Mohr, the Executive Director of Epsilon Spires, an arts gallery and venue on Brattleboro’s Main Street, first identified a space in need of activation and meaningful change when her community brought concerns about the dilapidated and neglected entrance to Brattleboro’s downtown to her attention. Having recently played a large role in the conversion of the First Baptist Church into an arts and culture hub, Jamie was ready to tackle a new project that would continue to bring life to Brattleboro, further the arts in the city, and make for a more welcoming entrance to town.
In order to tackle the eye-sore on High Street, Jamie worked with her team to determine what it would look like to create a beautiful, community-centered mural on the almost 100-yard long wall. At the core of this project was a collaboration between local designers and recently resettled Afghani refugees–all passionate about making Brattleboro a better place to live and visit. Epsilon Spires was intentional about conducting outreach events in order to engage the community in the process of designing and fundraising for the mural, ultimately ensuring that community members felt a sense of ownership over the project.
- Project: High Street Mural
- Project Type: Public Art
- Project Location: Brattleboro, Vermont
- Crowdfunding Raise: $8,411
- Crowdgranting Match: $16,000
- Patrons: 94
- Total Project Cost: $25,000
"Participating in the Better Places program has been an incredible experience for Epsilon Spires and for Brattleboro as a whole. Through this grant, we have been able to successfully replace a neglected stretch of wall in our downtown with a vibrant mural representing our town. The community response has been OVERWHELMINGLY positive and we have been flooded with messages conveying joy, inspiration, and pride around the mural." - Jamie Mohr
"[E]veryone who donated really feels like they are a part of the project, and are incredibly emotionally invested in it. It remains a vibrant symbol of pride and inspiration of what we the citizens of Vermont can accomplish together if we combine our talents and resources! The completion of this large, multi-tiered public art project has exceeded my high expectations for civic engagement and placemaking. We successfully worked together to transform a neglected public space into something everyone is proud of and thankful for, I see visitors taking pictures of the mural throughout the day, I hear other citizens express their inspirations as to how this work can continue to improve other spaces. It has created economic opportunities for the artists to paint other projects. I have seen elected officials who were at first skeptical, begin enthusiastically documenting the progress of the mural and cheer us on. Through the scope of the project the artists themselves built lasting friendships across cultures and plan to work together again in the future. This beautiful and inspiring success really could not have been possible without the matching support of Better Places." - Jamie Mohr
About Better Places
Better Places is a non-competitive, community matching grant program empowering Vermonters to create inclusive and vibrant public places serving Vermont’s designated downtowns, village centers, new town centers, or neighborhood development areas. The program supports community-led projects that create, revitalize, or activate public spaces that bring people together to build welcoming and thriving communities across Vermont.