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LDDA taking artful approach to infusing joy into holiday season

The Longmont Creative District and the Longmont Downtown Development Authority hope to get residents in the spirit of the season by pairing artists with businesses to beautify downtown windows this winter.
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In addition to lights that twinkle, the Longmont Creative District and the Longmont Downtown Development Authority hope to get residents in the spirit of the season by pairing artists with businesses to beautify downtown windows this winter. (Coutesy photo by Bennie Castellano)

With St. Vrain Valley schools considering transitioning to remote learning after Thanksgiving, Boulder County ramping up coronavirus restrictions and Mayor Brian Bagley calling for a city ordinance urging people to do all they can to limit the spread of COVID-19, residents might be left wondering what they will do for fun this holiday season. The Longmont Creative District aims to help.

The Creative District and the Longmont Downtown Development Authority hope to get residents in the spirit of the season by pairing artists with businesses to beautify downtown windows this winter.

The LDDA on Nov. 6 announced on its Instagram page that it is offering a stipend of $300 to chosen artists. The stipend will be used to buy paint and supplies to create winter-themed murals downtown.

The announcement also included news about the launch of the local Artist Sunday effort aimed at helping small businesses and artists alike. The weekend after Thanksgiving, residents will find art pop-ups throughout downtown Longmont.  

“We want to capitalize on social distancing-friendly activities,” said Mersadi McClure, Creative District Coordinator with LDDA. “People can view downtown and not have to worry about occupancy limits and all that, so a window mural project would be a kind of fun way to do that.”

The LDDA is looking for “positive, engaging, family-friendly work that is reflective of the Longmont community (and the) winter season in Colorado.” 

Longmont resident Michelle Myers said she looks forward to the added beauty the murals will bring to the city. “I always said Longmont was beautiful in the wintertime,” she said.

Artists have not yet been selected but McClure said they will be chosen in the coming days to make sure the murals are completed as soon as possible.

Among the specifics for the mural project are the use of approved paints that can easily be removed.  

Artists were invited to apply via the Creative District webpage. 

Among the artists who have applied for the window-painting effort is Firehouse Art Center Executive Director Elaine Waterman.

She doesn’t yet know if she has been chosen, but she said the Firehouse is weighing what it can do to be involved in the project. 

“The Firehouse windows are small, but we still might try to do something fun and festive,” Waterman said. 

People can expect artists to begin painting the windows this month. The murals will remain through the end of January. 

In addition to the murals and Artist Sunday, the LDDA on Friday launched its Winter Passport program to encourage people to visit downtown merchants. 

Through the program, shoppers who make purchases at downtown businesses will collect stickers for their passports, which are available at participating businesses. Once they’ve collected 10 stickers, they can enter their passports into the periodic prize drawings that will be held throughout the winter. The program, which runs through the end of the year, includes thousands of dollars worth of prizes, according to Colin Argys, LDDA marketing specialist and event coordinator said in an email.