The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019

YWCA beautifies downtown with project

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

A partnership between the YWCA of Van Wert County, the City of Van Wert, and Main Street Van Wert has resulted in a new painted crosswalk in downtown Van Wert.

YWCA Director of Advocacy Kelly Houg said YWCA staff members were intrigued when the Main Street crosswalk was painted this past summer during a conference of Main Street organizations hosted by Heritage Ohio.

YWCA staff members pose with their crosswalk painting project on Central Avenue. photos by Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

“We thought it was a very cool idea,” Houg said, noting that the idea of painting a crosswalk also fit in nicely with the YWCA’s Advocacy in Art program. The program’s aim is to create art projects, such as the YWCA’s Cookies & Canvas program and a project done in conjunction with Van Wert City Schools’ Cougar Leaders, that underscore the YWCA’s mission.  

Ace Hardware in Van Wert also contributed by donating the paint used for the crosswalk project.

“We recognize that art is a very powerful tool, in all aspects,” Houg explained, “and so we really felt like it was a partnership that we could collaborate with Main Street Van Wert as a way to continue our mission, our work, why we do what we do, but in a fun, artistic way.” 

This past week, YWCA staff, with some assistance from MSVW Executive Director Mitch Price, painted the YWCA logo on the Central Avenue crosswalk.

“Everybody loves color, everybody loves the different design, and they did a really great job,” Price said of the YWCA’s crosswalk project.

Price added that the project is very much in line with what MSVW is trying to do downtown with art, citing the recent painting of a mural on a downtown building, and the colorful renovation of the alley that runs from Main to Central, now known as the Former Mayor Eugene Bagley Alley.

YWCA staff members show off t-shirts that also bring awareness to that organization’s mission.

He also said the city has been very cooperative with his organization in allowing the addition of art projects in the downtown area.

“The City has done a really good job of opening these doors for us,” he said.

Houg also noted that, with the city’s blessing, the YWCA would like to repaint the Central Avenue crosswalk at different times to provide awareness for other YWCA campaigns, such as its Sexual Assault Awareness program in the spring and a crosswalk project using the color purple for its Domestic Violence Awareness program each October.

“There’s certainly growth here; we’ve definitely talked about future collaborations,” Houg said. “We’d love to continue to utilize this crosswalk to connect it to different awareness campaigns.”

She added that, because the YWCA is located in the downtown area, it supports projects that would beautify the area. 

“We want to see the downtown area continue to thrive, so it just seemed like a natural partnership,” Houg said of the collaboration with MSVW and the City.

POSTED: 10/08/19 at 7:49 am. FILED UNDER: News