Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) awarded $7,200 worth of paint from Ace Hardware to eight communities across the region through its Paint the Town Grant Program. This program is a partnership between SMIF and 14 local Ace Hardware stores and is designed to engage volunteers and build collaborative efforts that beautify communities through painting community murals, welcome signs, or historic structures.
Eight projects received a total of 180 gallons of paint. The grant is awarded to projects that will have a visual impact, provide a public benefit to the community, and involve volunteer participation.
The 2019 Paint the Town Grant award recipients are:
  • 45 gallons to Child Care Center of Mapleton for a mural on the side of their building.
  • 9 gallons to City of Bricelyn to update their municipal pool mural.
  • 20 gallons to Fillmore County Agricultural Society to restore the World War I Memorial Entrance to the Fillmore County fairgrounds in Preston.
  • 29 gallons to Lanesboro Arts Center in collaboration with Commonweal Theatre Company to create a community-centered mural on a prominent downtown wall.
  • 6 gallons to Le Sueur Community Foundation for a downtown mural.
  • 20 gallons to Mabel Historical Preservation Committee for a historical mural depicting the former train depot in the center of town.
  • 25 gallons to Montgomery Arts and Heritage Center to update the 20-year-old Montgomery mural.
  • 26 gallons to The Homeplace in Gibbon for a downtown mural.
“It is amazing to see the impact that colorful paint can have on a community’s vitality,” said Tim Penny, SMIF President and CEO. “We are pleased to once again have Ace Hardware as a partner in this program.”