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Foundation grant fosters street art projects

Life keeps getting better for that strip of Northeast 13th Street near the railroad tracks in the Middle River Terrace neighborhood of Fort Lauderdale.

Recently, the prestigious Community Foundation of Broward announced a $15,000 grant for the creation of street art in the area.

“It’s the coolest thing,” said Tim Smith, president emeritus of the area’s neighborhood association. “We’re getting known as a funny, funky, artsy area. We have African statuary in the parkway; now there will be paintings on the buildings.”

Five years ago, the area had a steady rate of crime and struggling storefronts. Since then, there’s been continued progress, said current association president Randall Klett.

The area has its own Community Redevelopment Agency now, to make sure tax increments are spent there. New investment, however tentative, is happening.

The foundation grant had its beginnings in a suggestion from artist Lorraine Maxwell, who maintains a studio in a building Smith owns in the 500 block of Northeast 13th Street.

Maxwell said she had heard of the Community Foundation’s grant program and passed the word to the association.

Klett said the association has three Fort Lauderdale artists in mind. He spoke of “large items” or “sculpture installations that are intended to be there long-term.”

Smith envisions “a giant mural on a big building right in the main intersection of Northeast Fourth Avenue and 13th Street.”

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About the Reporter

DON CRINKLAWDON CRINKLAW
Don Crinklaw has covered the east side of Fort Lauderdale and Wilton Manors for the East Side Forum since 2007. Before...

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