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Community creativity spotlighted, 614 Beautiful grantees announced

Sample of awarded proposals from 161 Task Force (L), Hilltop Arts Collective (C), and South Side Family Farms (R)

Placemaking has long been a buzzy catchword in the design community as it represents a unique intersection between people, underutilized spaces, and creative solutions. NDC, in partnership with the office of Councilmember Lourdes Barroso de Padilla and the Department of Neighborhoods, emphasized this community-centric approach when launching the 614 Beautiful Program in September 2022. The program aimed to spark responsive and neighborhood-driven solutions that help to beautify a place or space with the support of $10,000 grants, with the intent that neighbors come together to design, implement, and enjoy the proposed idea.

"The idea for 614 Beautiful came from my experience as an AmeriCorps member and the idea that service can be a common meeting ground for communities…" – Lourdes Barroso de Padilla, Columbus City Council

In addition to facilitating an open Q&A period, NDC also hosted three virtual information sessions ahead of the November deadline. A jury of creatives, design professionals, and community stakeholders reviewed nearly 30 proposals from applicants city-wide and selected eight awardees as part of the initial pilot. Grants were awarded to:

  • The 161 Task Force for their concept entitled, 3D Printed Bus Stop for 161, an innovative prototype to solve one facet of the transit issue;

  • South Side Family Farms for their creative signage proposal, Wayfinding and Identification Signage at South Side Family Farms;

  • Gertrude Wood Community Foundation for their community heroes mural project, Connect 4;

  • Franklinton Farms for educational signage supporting their organization’s gardens and programs, Artful Interpretive Signage;

  • Parsons Area Merchants Association for their branding and artful Parsons Avenue Banners proposal;

  • New City Homes for their youth-based Sullivant Avenue Murals;

  • Growing Hearts & Hands Community Garden for enhancements to their Legacy Garden proposal, and;

  • Hilltop Arts Collective’s proposal “Tell Your Story” Mural and Space Activation.

“The entries for the inaugural 614 Beautiful Grant reflect a range of ideas, innovation, and passion to uplift communities throughout Columbus. This spirit is reflected in the eight winning proposals that not only beautify their neighborhoods but tackle issues around transit, accessibility, food access, and public perception.” – Lisa Snyder, Director of Community Programs, NDC

Community organizations will finalize their concepts and begin implementation in the early spring, with the intent to “open” for public enjoyment in the summer and fall of 2023. You can learn more about the program and the projects by visiting

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