National AARP grant to bring artistic pandemic relief

Published on August 26, 2020

Lakewood’s 40 West ArtLine will continue to expand its role as a unique, free outdoor art experience to bring relief during the pandemic as a result of receiving a selective national AARP grant, which will fund a program to ease the isolation of older residents, provide activities for families and youth, support local artists and beautify public spaces.

The AARP Community Challenge grant awarded to the city for the ArtLine is one of only 184 given to more than 2,000 applicants from across the country. These grants support quick-action projects that help communities make immediate improvements and sustain long-term progress for residents of all ages. Only four grants were awarded in Colorado.

“We are incredibly proud that AARP selected the 40 West ArtLine project,” Mayor Adam Paul said. “AARP is a nationwide leader in making neighborhoods and cities more livable for everyone, and this project will bring joy and tangible relief to our residents.”

The $9,000 grant will fund artists to work with the community this fall to enhance the ArtLine’s positive impact in northeast Lakewood. Handsome Little Devil will bring a Project Joy Bomb, a socially distanced art-based parade of sorts, to the seniors living at the Residences at Creekside and the families and youth who call Lamar Station Crossing home. The carnival-like event will deliver artist Sean Doherty’s paint by number art kits that residents will complete for display on Pierce Street along the ArtLine. Artists will also design and install the first Little Free Library along the ArtLine, which is a four-mile walking and biking art experience connecting people and places in the heart of the 40 West creative district along Lakewood’s historic West Colfax Avenue. Residents will also share their stories about living through the pandemic, and the artwork and stories will be shared online.

“This is a creative way for us to bring uplifting activities to those who live and recreate along the 40 West ArtLine while also paying artists whose livelihoods have been so damaged during the pandemic,” said 40 West Executive Director Liz Black. “40 West’s mission is to bring joy through free art experiences, and at a time like this, fulfilling that mission couldn’t be more critical.”

About 40 West ArtLine

The 40 West ArtLine’s tagline is #ExploreArtOutside, and it’s more important than ever in 2020. The ArtLine is a free recreational and cultural asset that can be experienced with social distancing in the time of COVID-19. This outdoor art experience winds its way through Lakewood’s historic neighborhoods where visitors can see more than 70 pieces of artwork along the route. Follow the painted green line to ground murals, story totems, interactive sculptures, fence art and more.


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