People Gather to ‘Celebrate Downtown’ | News, Sports, Jobs
Music echoed through downtown last night as the Marshall County Arts and Culture Alliance and Marshalltown Central Business District hosted Celebrate Downtown.
The event took place in the newly reconstructed parking lot behind the Tremont building. It was organized to celebrate the revitalization of the downtown district and recognize how far Marshalltown has come in the three years since the tornado.
Amber Danielson, director of arts and cultural alliance, said art is an important part of the downtown master plan. Parking behind the Tremont was another project included in the plan.
“This is really the first fully implemented project in the entire city center master plan”, Danielson said. “To me he shouts ‘We’re recovering.’ We come back better than before. This is just the start of progress downtown.
The event featured performances by local musicians Austin Chadderdon and Bon Jecci. The backdrop to it all; a freshly painted fresco spanning the south side of Tremont. It was painted by Justin Nethercut, an artist from Baltimore.
“It’s really the icing on the cake of the final touch of this project” Danielson said. “It’s been such a long trip and seeing the painting on the wall and the community reaction to this piece and their enthusiasm, it’s been super exciting.”
Those who were able to attend were equally excited to see the progress and the new lively space to come together.
“We are so happy to see everything come back to life after the tornado and the derecho” said Heidi Draisey. “We are delighted to be able to be here and together. I think it’s just a testament to all the good we’ve done, can do, and will continue to do in the future.
Kendra Sorensen said she loved the new mural and was excited about what’s yet to come downtown.
“It’s great that we have more open green space available. So you can have a little of this exterior element ”, she said. “I love Marshalltown for its diverse culture and I really feel like this mural represents that.”
Before the music started playing, a tape cut took place for the redeveloped parking lot. The parking lot was rebuilt by Con-Struct Inc. from Ames. Its reconstruction was funded in part by $ 290,000 from the State Revolving Fund and a $ 100,000 grant from the Water Quality Grant from the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship of the ‘Iowa. The city also borrowed for the project.
“This project and this space have been an effort in the works for 2 years. It feels good to see that come together and to see people come together in this space ”, Danielson said. “We really hope this is just the first of many events here.”
There will be even more public art coming this year. Danielson said the arts and culture alliance is not done bringing murals and exhibits to town.
“We’re wrapping up our mural season next week with three more murals. We’ll have a mural taking place at Thompson True Value, a mural at the Chop Shop in the 13th Street District, and then a surprise. Much work is also underway for the future.