I’ve written previously about the public space and how bringing life back to our cities will depend on how we activate and make our public spaces alive again. One of the most overlooked and undervalued spaces is the alleyway. A tucked away space that lends itself to endless potential and opportunity.
In our downtown, these almost-accidental spaces between buildings have existed in a sort of limbo: not quite streets, but still thoroughfares; not private, but not public enough to feel protected; backdrops to fears of crime and lending itself to an unwelcoming experience…until now.
Recently our friend Kristen Colesanti, and her friend Ciara Ocasio, took the initiative to organize an event that would transform one of our downtown alleyways in Daytona into a vibrant space filled with music, art and life. With two muralists and a dozen or more other artists showing their work, this space began building more of a sense of community. Finally this alleyway felt welcoming and walkable and made more than 700 curious people want to see this unique spectacle. I imagine people will come back just to see the murals days, months and long after the event and that’s the lasting value in what this transformative event has on our downtown.
I look forward to future installations, even to the point where we can build a gallery of downtown alleyways that are splashed with murals and other creative works of art.