The City Commission unanimously passed plans for a Color Fest, or a spring street art event, to be held on Sheyenne Street in late April, just before the northern part of the street undergoes a $10.5 million reconstruction.
Economic Development Director Lauren Orchard said she hopes a similar event may be held annually like many of West Fargo's other signature community gatherings.
Color Fest will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 17, in The Yards on Sheyenne. Community members and local artists will be welcome to paint Sheyenne Street intersections from Second Avenue West to Fourth Avenue West before they are torn up for the construction.
"This event will not only bring additional vibrancy to The Yards in the form of street art, but it will also provide a creative and social outlet for people of all ages and walks of life to gather in a safe way while celebrating the end of a difficult winter," Orchard said.
Orchard asked the city to spend $8,900 on the community event, which includes accepting a North Dakota Vibrancy grant of $1,500.
The remaining cost to the city will include providing safety measures for COVID-19 as well as paint and supplies for the attendees. The city is expecting about 200 attendees, with about 45 elementary, middle and high school students creating art.
In addition to partnering with schools, the city is planning to involve businesses in the downtown area and will encourage them to have day-specific sales and events to generate traffic to their businesses during the event.
"We've been supporters of this whole process as well as asking how we can help," Yards Business Association President Nicole Dutton said.
"One of my favorite aspects of this project is the temporary nature of it," said Dana Del Val, president and CEO of The Arts Partnership. "Because Sheyenne Street is going to be deconstructed, the creation of public art made by and with the public prior to tearing the street up means this is a highly approachable and accessible way to incorporate people and the arts. Similar to our annual ChalkFest, when art making leads to temporary creations, it tends to take away much of the anxiety that people feel around 'making art.' "
Local artists are encouraged to submit street artwork designs to be painted in the three intersections. The chosen artists will paint the designs on to the street during the event, and event attendees will be able to assist the artists. West Fargo will supply all paint and materials. For more information, visit https://www.westfargond.gov/1139/COLOR-FEST.
Art submissions are due 11:59 p.m. Thursday, March 18, by email. Selected artists will receive notification by Tuesday, April 6, 2021. For the full call for artists, please visit the Color Fest website (https://www.westfargond.gov/1139/COLOR-FEST).
An alternative plan will be made if weather or COVID-19 conditions prohibit the event from safely occurring.