Small Business Murals Project Returns For Third Year

Small Business Murals Project Returns For Third Year

August 13, 2019

The Quicken Loans Community Fund today announced the completion of six new murals through the Quicken Loans Small Business Murals Project, bringing its total to 18 community-driven murals installed on local businesses throughout Detroit since 2017. Executed in partnership with 1xRUN – the team behind Detroit’s annual art festival, Murals In The Market – the Quicken Loans Small Business Murals Project brought together local business owners and artists to create transformative, large-scale murals in communities throughout the city.

For the third year in a row, the Quicken Loans Community Fund continued bringing vibrant artwork to many of Detroit’s neighborhoods. Over the course of 10 days, Detroit artists Rick WilliamsPhil SimpsonSheefy McFlyBakPak DurdenIjania CortezEd Irmen and Mike Polawkowski worked to design and paint six new large-scale public murals, each working hand-in-hand with the local business owner.

“Detroit is a city with a deep, vibrant culture and that culture is best reflected by the small business owners and artists that call it home,” said Jasmin DeForrest, Director of Community Sponsorships for the Quicken Loans Community Fund. “This third iteration of the Small Business Murals Project was another opportunity to foster meaningful collaboration between artists and entrepreneurs, and let them broadcast their – and their neighborhoods’ – unique style to the world.”

The Quicken Loans Community Fund and 1xRUN also collaborated with two local entrepreneurial services, Grand Innovation powered by LifeLine and ProsperUs and, for this year’s project. These organizations help connect local business owners with muralists to give each business’ facade a fresh new look and provide yet another reason for Detroiters to visit the business.

Again this year, more than 30 Quicken Loans team members took part in a “paint by numbers” style mural, painting side-by-side with the owner of First Behavioral Choice on Detroit’s east side and artist Phil Simpson.

“Expanding the program, and being out in these Detroit neighborhoods that are often overlooked, make it even more moving when we see how these murals affect each community,” said Roula David, 1xRUN Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director of Murals In The Market. “What is really profound about this project is that we are all able to see a very direct and immediate connection between how art and commerce create such a positive impact.”

While the first five murals were completed at local businesses, the final mural was painted live by renowned artist Sheefy McFly during Detroit Out Loud, a one-day festival held by the Quicken Loans Community Fund to celebrate Detroit and its communities. McFly painted a series of his classic b-boys and break dancers at the free, family-oriented festival at Rouge Park on Detroit’s west side.

The Quicken Loans Small Business Murals Project is part of a larger philanthropic strategy to invest in public space activation, housing stability, entrepreneurship, education and employment and community sponsorships throughout its hometown of Detroit. Through its For-More-Than-Profit model, the Quicken Loans Community Fund brings together for-profit businesses and non-profit investments to improve Detroit and the other cities Quicken Loans calls home.

1xRUN and their veteran team have championed Detroit’s public art scene over the last decade. Their annual arts and culture festival, Murals In The Market, is entering its fifth year this September.  Partnering with the Eastern Market Corporation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, they will present dozens of new murals throughout the Eastern Market district. Over the past eight years 1xRUN has curated and produced more than 175 murals in Eastern Market alone, and more than 300 murals throughout the City of Detroit.

The public is encouraged to go see the new murals and help support these local businesses at the addresses below:

Mural Locations

BakPak Durden: Final Cut Barber Salon, 13303 West Seven Mile

Rick Williams:  Glass Block Express, 13106 Lynwood St

Phil Simpson:  First Behavioral Choice, 8537 Van Dyke Ave

Ijania Cortez:  Mad J’s Auto Service, 7009 West Chicago

Ed Irmen and Michael Polawakowski: Carmen’s Community Mini Market, 2145 Dearing St

Sheefy McFly: Detroit Out Loud Festival (Live Painting on July 20th in Rouge Park)




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