Adding beauty to Downtown New Orleans through art and not blight

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— There’s a program from the Downtown Development District that’s taking buildings in transition and making them more pleasing to the eye through a special art program.

In many spots in Downtown New Orleans you’ll spot broken windows, grafitti, and vacant buildings, but the Downtown Development District is changing the face of downtown through its vacant store front program, like at 121 Royal Street.

“It is really a way to help property owners and put some life and vitality into their building as they are transitioning from one tenant to the next,” Ryan Bordenave, Retail Specialist with the Downtown Development District said.

He went on to say, “To keep these buildings as active as possible even though they are not being utilized.”

Bordenave said they work with the property owners on contracts and then the property owners select the artist.

“And the DDD provides a grant up to $3-thousand dollars for the artist,” he said.

Currently there are three vacant store fronts that are part of this program. Two on Canal Street and the other on Royal Street (which is two buildings.)

“One of the greatest things about this program is it is a grafitti deterrent. When you see this art behind me someone is less like;y to tag or mark up this building because it is an art installation. Someone has taken the time to produce this body of work,” he said.

In the meantime this art is adding beauty, while preventing blight.

“Instead of just having a blank canvas, a wall, or plywood this is a way to add a little life,” he said.

If you are a property owner in Downtown New Orleans and are interested in this program for more information, click HERE.

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