Grant #427

Know Thy Neighbor

November 30, 2020

Big Love For The People Who Run Small Businesses, Giants On Their Block

When Evan Lovett looks around the city of Philadelphia, he sees great people. And he wants you to see them, too. This professional artist has created huge portraits of working people he admires but who seldom get recognition. For example, his 8-foot-tall portraits of various airport workers who toil in anonymity show them looming large, representing their true importance to the business of flying.

Now he wants to do the same for ten more people he considers to be local heroes, the people who run and work in small businesses throughout Philly. He’s excited about the search for the perfect place, the right match of businesses, people to paint, and big enough walls for the work, all in the same walkable area.

“There are a lot of small, local-owned businesses that have been a cornerstone of their neighborhoods, from tire shops to bodegas, and a plethora of others,” says Evan. “I plan on securing the willing participants and wall locations now, and I’ll start painting in the spring.”

Evan is part of an art collective that’s done other murals. Our AWB grant will pay for the basics of these major portraits — it takes a lot of paint!

2020 has been such a dark time for so many little businesses striving to survive the pandemic. We hope when these murals begin to bloom in the spring that they will be a testament to the ones who hung on through the winter, both literally.

You don’t have to paint a mural to salute your own local businesses, just go spend some money with them. Think of it as your own little awesome award!

Category: Art, Community, Environment



After 11+ years, we’re signing off and closing applications for good. We’ve supported 571 projects with $571,000 in grant dollars. We’re so proud to have celebrated such incredible work. Please visit for more information on other AWESOME chapters! And thanks for sharing so much awesomeness with us.

Team Awesome Without Borders