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Supporting COVID Recovery and Reinforcing Brand through Public Art

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Public art in mixed-use environments accomplishes multiple purposes – it not only beautifies a place, but when done well, it is an invaluable tool in shaping and reinforcing brand identity to reflect the unique offerings and strategic positioning of place. Public art is also an important COVID recovery strategy as communities reemerge and encourage visitation from locals and visitors alike.


Streetsense’s Brand Team has an established and streamlined approach to large-scale public art that is firmly rooted in our approach to brand identity. Our public art efforts aim to reinforce branding cues on streets, in public spaces, on the walls of public facilities (including parking lots), and on private properties (in collaboration with willing property owners). When we work with public or institutional clients, our team must also incorporate a public review and design process, working closely with Commissions and local leaders to gather input and incorporate feedback into a final design. In nearly every case, we must also be aware of the fine line between a mural that references or evokes brand and one that is an advertisement – which in many cities triggers permits and regulatory issues, or street interventions that might trigger D.O.T review.


As many communities pursue COVID recovery strategies, investments that enliven a place, including re-establishing a brand identity and advancing comprehensive marketing efforts, can be important to recovery efforts. Streetsense is well poised to support this effort from beginning to end through comprehensive re-branding, marketing, and placemaking efforts in communities large and small.


Our success and creative strategy can be seen at The Wharf in D.C. where installations symbolizing the Potomac River and historic fish market promote a brand and have served to activate back alleys. At Founders Row in downtown Falls Church, Virginia, Streetsense worked with community members and the Falls Church Arts and Humanities Commission to understand community values, resulting in a mural that represents the past, present, and future of Falls Church. The vision pays homage to the community’s agricultural and pastoral past and portrays Falls Church as a thriving community looking towards the future.



Similarly, in The Parks at Walter Reed in Washington, DC, Streetsense used art to create an identity on sidewalks, public open spaces, and on-street furniture that celebrated Walter Reed’s connection to the Panama Canal. The team blended components that engaged elements of water with a focus on nature and wellness to create a rich sense of place.




To find more about how Streetsense can help your community advance public art efforts, contact Larisa Ortiz, Managing Director, Public Non-Profit Solutions.


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