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Niagara Falls, NY Awarded Asphalt Art Grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies

Niagara Falls is one of 26 U.S. cities across the country to be selected to receive a $25,000 Asphalt Art Grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies. The grant application was submitted by the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area (NFNHA) in partnership with the City of Niagara Falls. It aims to infuse impactful community-driven advocacy and development in the North End of Niagara Falls by enhancing safety for pedestrians and cyclists, improving public spaces, and installing vibrant crosswalk murals at intersections.

Niagara Falls mural

“We are so excited for this opportunity in the North End community, a neighborhood with a legacy of creativity, resilience and courage. It’s an extension of our ongoing work with the community to bring attention to the City’s Underground Railroad history and local stories”, says Ally Spongr, Interim Director of the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center, an organization working in partnership with the NFNHA and NF Murals.

“This is excellent news. In our predominantly Black community here in the North End of Niagara Falls, active community participation in these art projects have enhanced a sense of pride, ownership and has given a voice to our community’s authentic identity,” says Saladin Allah, project coordinator for the NF Murals, the public art initiative of the NFNHA.

The partnership of the NFNHA and the City of Niagara Falls has pointed to three specific locations that form a triangle in the North End: three major intersections connecting high traffic areas to the widely used Legends Park recreational basketball courts, the Niagara Falls Public Library, Henry Abate Elementary School, and the Niagara Falls Transportation Authority Portage Road Transportation Center.

“As Bloomberg Philanthropies points out,” says Mayor Robert Restaino of the City of Niagara Falls, “Vibrant public artwork and smarter street design can inspire residents and have tangible impacts on improving safety and the lives of our residents. These creative initiatives are important to enhance Niagara Falls, strengthen our pride, and bring enthusiasm for something better to come.”

The planning for the project will begin in Fall 2021 with implementation in Spring 2022. More information on the Asphalt Art Grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies, visit link.

Niagara Falls mural

About Niagara Falls National Heritage Area & NF Murals

The Niagara Falls National Heritage Area (NFNHA) is one of 55 National Heritage Areas in the United States. Designated by the United States Congress in 2008, its mission is to preserve, protect and promote the historic, natural and cultural resources of the area stretching from Niagara Falls to Old Fort Niagara in Youngstown, New York. The NFNHA facilitates partnerships between artists, public and private organizations, and community members and stakeholders to envision and create public art, impacting the cultural landscape with pieces that reflect and honor the history and legacy of Niagara Falls. Learn more at &

Bloomberg Philanthropies Asphalt Art Initiative

Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Asphalt Art Initiative provides cities with grants of up to $25,000 each, as well as technical support, for projects that use art and design to improve street safety, revitalize public spaces, and engage residents of their communities. The Asphalt Art Initiative responds to the growing number of cities around the world embracing art as an effective and relatively low-cost strategy to enliven and improve safety in their streets through interventions on crosswalks, plazas, and other transportation infrastructure. It is inspired by work done to improve pedestrian safety and revitalize New York City streets during Michael R. Bloomberg’s mayoralty (2002-2013) and the work of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ pro bono consulting arm Bloomberg Associates advising cities on implementing asphalt art projects.

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