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Applications for Space2Place grants are due on March 9



Billings, Montana – Artists can apply for Space2Place funding to beautify and animate public spaces near Billings. The deadline for submissions is March 9th.

According to Big Sky Economic Development, they are seeking initiatives that would improve a location’s livability, beauty, and safety. The maximum prize per project is $5,000. They’ve given out grants in the past for things like murals, gardens, lights, gazebos, etc.

The City of Billings’ resident artist is Terri Porta. With funding from Space2Place in 2019, she also painted a mural. The painting is located in the 27th Street pedestrian tunnel.

“That tunnel, the facilities guys were like, ‘You know, we get a lot of graffiti under there. Maybe a mural will help deter that criminal stuff.’ And sure enough, it has,” Porta said.

Porta utilized the mural to draw attention to indigenous persons who have been murdered and gone missing.

“Each one of the shards represents a life that has been touched by the missing and murdered indigenous people tragedy and the ongoing struggle of sex trafficking in our town,” she said.

In general, 5-8 projects receive grants from Big Sky Economic Development each year, according to senior project manager Thom MacLean. He said that since the grants’ inception in 2018, just over 30 projects have received funding.

He stated there is a strong opportunity for people to receive money for a project or mural they genuinely want to complete.

“I love murals, but we don’t want people to think it’s a mural-only project,” he said. “They’ve been great. Murals really pop and they get a lot of attention. We’ll always consider murals, but we don’t want people to think that’s the only thing you can apply for.”

According to MacLean, each of these initiatives works to improve the neighborhood little by little.

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