Chillicothe — The nonprofit organization that works to improve Chillicothe’s downtown has two interactive visual projects underway: one a more traditional mural, and the other a snazzy digital information center.
Tiffany Baldwin, program manager for Downtown Chillicothe, Inc., presented both plans to the Chillicothe Design Review Board Thursday for final review.
The Design Review Board is charged with maintaining historical character by regulating any exterior changes within the Preservation District – but that is shifting a little with the nonprofit Downtown Chillicothe taking on the task of reviewing art and murals. That way, the governmental DRB says they are not potentially restricting First Amendment free speech issues with public art.
But out of courtesy, Downtown Chillicothe continued a discussion on their proposed mural on the south side of the alley between Water and Second streets, on the east side of Paint Street. They are planning to add to their community bulletin board there.
Baldwin has said that Ohio University Chillicothe wants to be more interactive with the town, so this mural is part of that effort. It will show a cartoon-style Bennett Hall, hills, canal boats – and the mascot for the Ohio University, Rufus the Bobcat, for selfies.
Baldwin also discussed the two digital kiosks, that have been in recent news, the with the DRB. Downtown Chillicothe got a $50,000 grant from T-Mobile that will pay for a two-sided seven-foot black module with two interactive screens that will go in front of the courthouse.
She said they combined a Herrnstein Family Fund grant and other funds – including receipts from the downtown volleyball games “Sand in the Streets” – to include a single-sided kiosk near the public parking lot on East Water Street near the entrance to Yoctangee Park.
The kiosks will guide people to businesses and institutions, and when not being used, they can show advertisements and PSAs for the same.
After the Design Review Board voted to approve both projects, Baldwin says they should be installed once it is warm enough in spring for the work.
Hear more in my interview video, below.