Painted Barns Project FAQ

What is the Painted Barns Project?

The Painted Barns Project is an initiative of the Mount Vernon Area Arts Council, a non-profit group of visual artists, writers, musicians and performance artists whose mission is to promote arts and culture in and around our town. The Painted Barns Project has been developed to encourage and promote mural painting on barns around the area.

What are you trying to accomplish with the Painted Barns Project?

The Project has three goals:

  • To create a  tourism destination for visitors from across the country and around the world.
  • To promote creativity among local artists and provide them with opportunities to display their work to the world.
  • To encourage new ways of perceiving our rural heritage, our local landscape, and our rich history.

How do you intend to accomplish these goals?

The Painted Barns Project will roll out in four stages.

  1. The first phase of the Painted Barns Project is a feasibility study and market research. During this phase, we will determine the depth and breadth of interest in the project among artists, barn owners, merchants, civic leaders and elected officials. We will seek funding. We will research and address any legal issues that are likely to arise, including land use and zoning laws, compliance, and liability issues. We will develop a budget, create a governance board, and write a business plan to be used as we seek financial support.
  2. The second phase of the project involves development and presentation of a workshop by an accomplished painter of barn murals. Shortly after workshop has been presented, the workshop attendees will complete a demonstration project during which time they will deploy the skills from the workshop to complete a barn mural under the supervision and tutelage of the workshop leader.
  3. The third phase of the project is when artists and barn owners are brought together to discuss, plan and complete individual murals.

 How will the project be funded?

We will seek funding sources in the form of grants and other cash and in-kind support. Funding will come from a combination of sources: private foundations, economic development funds, rural development/enhancement grants, business and individual supporters.

Is the Mount Vernon Area Arts Council qualified to pursue this project?

The MVAAC is overseen by a board which includes educators, marketing and communications professionals, business owners, and people with experience managing highly complex projects. We have deep roots and many personal and professional connections throughout eastern Iowa. With that said, we always welcome new people with new ideas (and lots of energy).