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Students Award $4,000 to Newport Mural Project

Northern Kentucky University students awarded $4,000 to a Newport mural project.

Students from NKU worked with the Westside Citizens Coalition in Newport to develop ideas for “creative placemaking” projects. The projects were presented at the First Baptist Church, with residents selecting one of the murals for the $4,000 grant.

The mural, by artist Derek Toebbe, will be installed on Galaxie’s Skateshop’s new building at 121 West 10th Street. The shop recently relocated from Monmouth Street in Newport to its new location and opened over the weekend.

The students developed these projects as an assignment in their Planning and Community Development class, which is part of NKU’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) program.

Creative placemaking uses arts and cultural activities to shape the physical and social character of a neighborhood, city or region—according to the National Endowment for the Arts. The process typically involves various partners from the government, nonprofit and private sectors.

“Working with the NKU MPA program allowed us as a neighborhood not only to identify possible community projects but also to create a path that will bring us together in making those projects become a reality,” said Josh Tuning, executive director of ReNewport. “We were able to share our neighborhood for a learning experience with students and, in return, they were able to teach us and expand our vision of our neighborhood.”

The Planning and Community Development class is one of 18 courses this semester participating in NKU’s Mayerson Student Philanthropy Project, which helps students learn first-hand about charitable giving and nonprofits. The $4,000 grant in this class was funded by ArtsWave and the Greater Cincinnati Foundation.

-Staff report

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