The City of Hallandale Beach is going through a rebranding of sorts. It wants to promote a new brighter, friendlier image by incorporating more art into the public spaces.
The city recently partnered with the Broward County nonprofit arts incubator ArtServe to launch an initiative called '12 Months of Art'.
"We've been commissioned by the city to go in and help them to fulfill their vision which is really bold: they want to be a nationally recognized arts playground," said Craig W. Johnson, ArtServe's executive director.
The city is using around $80,000 of community redevelopment agency, or CRA, funds to finance the commission, according to ArtServe.
They're hiring local artists to beautify the city over time through murals, painted fire hydrants, and by bringing live art to movie events at Peter Bluesten Park.
A free event for the community this Saturday, Nov. 16, from noon to 4 p.m. will unveil new murals in Foster Park Plaza.
"What's really important to us is that we're building a sustainable model to build arts ecosystems," Johnson said. "I have to give the city a lot of credit because they are putting the arts at the forefront of their redevelopment initiatives...that does not happen with one-off events."
Hallandale Beach Vice Mayor Sabrina Javellana advocated for the murals project going up in the Foster Park Plaza area.
"I had been seeing [murals] popping up throughout Hollywood, throughout North Miami Beach...and I think it just fosters a lot of hometown pride," she said. "And that's what we need in Hallandale. We need to have people to think this is a positive, fun and safe and secure place."
She said the city commission has been supportive of investing in arts initiatives in hopes of stimulating economic growth from tourists, but also new residents.
"I would like to say that we are rebranding our city from maybe a sleepy, retirement city - to a more exciting place to live, work, play," Javellana said. "We've seen a large influx of young families, young professionals making Hallandale Beach their home, and we really want to have that reflect what's going on in the city."
Johnson said, ArtServe is still looking for local artists to join in the '12 Months of Art':
"If you are an artists from Hallandale Beach or you grew up in Hallandale Beach, we want to talk to you because it's really important that we are helping the city to achieve its initiative using Hallandale Beach-based artists," Johnson said. "And we are looking for you...we need you."