The East Side Business Improvement District (BID) is finding new ways to add extended seating for restaurant patrons looking to dine outside when a favorite restaurant might be at capacity, and for those looking for a quiet respite in the neighborhood. The BID will be hiring local artists to paint picnic tables that will be placed in the parking lot at 1915 E North Ave., which will act as extended outdoor seating for visitors, residents, and people looking for a good place to eat their carryout.
The East Side Art Lot was the brainchild of area residents who were talking about new places to dine outside. Support grew as the idea was circulated among East Side business owners, so the BID wrote a grant to AARP’s Small Dollar Big Impact fund and recently received funding to buy picnic tables that local artists will be hired to paint.
The project may be simple but it is not inexpensive. The $1,000 AARP Small Dollar Big Impact grant will fund the purchase of ten picnic tables, but additional funds are needed to pay artists for their work, supply materials to artists, and provide ongoing trash maintenance and sanitization of the tables. To fund this, the BID put together a crowdfunding campaign, now live on GoFundMe: https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/east-side-art-lot. All sponsors and artists will be recognized on signage at the entrance to the lot.
A call for artists will remain open through noon on Thursday, 8/6 and can be found here. Aritsts, please note an important update to the call to artists: the provided picnic tables will be bare wood and not previously painted! Please contact email@example.com if you have questions.
We owe a huge thanks to AARP Wisconsin for providing the Small Dollar Big Impact grant that got this all started!