This year’s Community Betterment Award pairs a vacant downtown building with a community need, culminating in another wonderful example of public-private partnership. While variations of this project have occurred in recent years, nothing quite this visible and collaborative had yet taken place.
Communities across the state and nation, both smaller and larger, are envious of this public-private partnership and have reached out to better understand all that goes into making it successful to see if it can be mirrored in their own communities. This project has helped establish Grinnell as a vibrant, collaborative and hip place to live and visit.
We believe this project will continue to aid in the creation of 18-hour vitality in our downtown and encourage entrepreneurship and artistic flair simultaneously. The downtown building has been completely renovated to house various uses and groups, including a storefront which regularly hosts events and local artists markets, studio space for artists, the MLab: a makers space collaboration for creative community, fabrication and tinkering, and a ceramics community.
This project has brought community members together in a way that uses arts and culture as the impetus but is more widespread in encouraging community to engage in new and different ways.
Congratulations to The Stew Art Studios, the recipient of the 2019 Community Betterment Award.