Artists needed for Bloomberg Asphalt Art project, making Historic Northeast intersection safer

Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 12:09 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 5, 2022 at 6:31 AM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - The Kansas City Artists Coalition is seeking artists to paint the intersection of 12th Street and Benton Boulevard as part of Bloomberg’s Asphalt Art Initiative. The goal is to improve safety for pedestrians and traffic speed by creating shorter crossing distances.

Based on data, there have been 24 crashes, including four pedestrian crashes, in the area of 12th & Benton in the last four years.

In 2020, Kansas City received a $25,000 grant from the Asphalt Art Initiative to enhance the intersection between Broadway Boulevard and Main Street in Westport.

The art project will allow for up to four areas for artists to paint the asphalt. The areas will then be supplemented with new crosswalks, neighborhood branding median islands and left turn lanes.

“The intent of this is to provide more sight distance for pedestrians and oncoming traffic. when you skinny up the curbs and you don’t allow cars to drive in that direction you can see more traffic oncoming,” said Bailey Waters, chief mobility officer of Kansas City Department of Public Works.

In addition to creating safety improvements, the project will help beautify the Historic Northeast neighborhood.

“I think it’s going to be really good for the neighborhood, for the people that live here to see that the city is paying attention to and investing in these things. I think it’s super important that we beautify our neighborhoods. It really makes a big difference,” said Cynthia Herrington, president of the Independence Plaza Neighborhood Council.

Artists can apply to be part of the project by July 5 at 11:59 p.m. Participants will be notified if they are chosen on July 13, and the project will be completed between August 1-7. Artists must be over 18 and live in Kansas City MO or the surrounding area.

Application information can be found here.

The project is being done in partnership with KCMO Department of Public Works and Street Smarts Design + Build.