Spruce Arts, Murals and Creative Communities initiatives
The Spruce Arts https://sprucearts.com/ was the first step in bringing a vibrant art scene to downtown Indiana. This program hosted muralists from the organization Dripped On The Road as part of the 2020 artists in residence. The artists used air-purifying paint that absorbs aerial pollutants, reduces carbon dioxide and eliminates odors.
In addition to the murals that were painted throughout downtown Indiana, they planted 100 trees. The collaboration of many groups, including Smog Armor, the Indiana Conservation District, Indiana Office of Planning and Development, Sustainable Indiana, and the Evergreen Conservancy helped to make the program a success. Dripped On The Road returned in October 2021 to continue their Mural project and have expanded into the Blairsville and Smicksburg areas.
Another county-wide, artistic initiative includes Open Spaces Creative Collective, which is working towards a creative future through community building, economic revitalization, and public space activation through art. By bringing in partners, friends, collaborators, community members, individuals, and organizations together, they formed the foundation to build this effort.
As a result, Indiana County received a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Creative Communities grant. The Creative Communities program provides multi-year funding to community-driven, arts-based projects that serve as catalysts for livability, economic development, and community connectedness. Also called creative placemaking, the funded projects will have a demonstrated positive impact on their respective communities.
Numerous partnering organizations plan to facilitate this 5-year project throughout Indiana County, forming a network of arts organizations and individuals united in a shared vision of Indiana County as an artistic hub and destination while creating a countywide arts collective to oversee and support community-based art practices, invest in local artists and art, and facilitate a public art initiative.