Come To Toledo! (But Don’t End Up In Ohio Unless You Meant To)
You’d love Downtown Toledo, says Rachael Maddock-Hughes. “It’s an attractive area with historic buildings, good sidewalks, decorative street lamps, and views of the Port of Toledo, which sits on the Yaquina River. The largest outdoor mosaic mural in the Northwest is at City Hall.”
Wait, what? “Yaquina River”? “Northwest”? This isn’t the more famous Toledo, the one in Ohio, population over a quarter of a million.
We’re talking about Toledo, Oregon, population somewhere between three and four thousand at last count, a community determined to shine so brightly that visitors will be attracted from miles away.
They’re planning to lure excursionists and daytrippers with art, art, and more art. A who’s-who of Toledo businesses, non-profits, government agencies, and others created Arts Revitalization of Toledo to bring a literal fresh coat of paint to Downtown Toledo.
“Phantom Galleries” turn vacant storefronts into showcases for the works of local and regional artists in a COVID-safe environment. People get to enjoy the art as store owners demonstrate the appealing quality of their available properties.
Everybody in Toledo’s going to know somebody who helped to create the community-made mural! There will be other murals, too, some to remain on Main Street and at key entry-points to the center of town. Some temporary murals can be moved to other locations (and will be eventually auctioned off to help fund the program).
Our Awesome Without Borders grant will help pay for colorful banners mounted on the aforementioned decorative lampposts. You know how festive touches like that really perk up the look of a downtown area. But nothing will look as good as streets filled with visitors, Phantom Galleries disappearing as new thriving retail tenants appear. How would we like to see Main Street occupied? Wholly, Toledo!