Mural mania in New Rochelle

Murals lure visitors to New Rochelle.

Large-scale murals are popping up on walls all over New Rochelle, the result of a collaboration between the New Rochelle Industrial Development Agency (IDA), the New Rochelle Council on the Arts (NRCA) and the nonprofit Street Art for Mankind (SAM), which works with street artists to create large-scale murals around the world. 

“New Rochelle has always been a city with a focus on the arts,” observed Theresa Kump Leghorn, president of NRCA, in a press release. “So when we saw what SAM was doing in other communities, we reached out and invited them here.” With support from the city, the result was the first set of eight #NRNYMurals, which made their debut in November 2019.   

“We had hoped to add more murals in ‘phase two’ in 2020, but COVID intervened,” Leghorn added. “And then, after all that the city has been through over the last two years, we were really motivated by the idea of creating something joyful. We are excited about the new murals, and so grateful for the leadership of the IDA, which provided significant funding and is in full support of this significant contribution to New Rochelle’s artistic flavor.”  

The New Rochelle IDA is a public entity whose mission is to provide financial assistance through tax incentives to eligible projects in order to promote economic vitality and prosperity as well as recreational opportunities for the entire New Rochelle community. Audrey and Thibault Decker, founders of SAM, said the murals will delight the eye as well as enhance the city’s economy. “When we create Art Walk Murals in cities, they help bond the community together,” Thibault said. “They create a kind of open museum, bringing out the diversity of art and democratizing it to give more people access. They don’t have to go to a museum to interact with the art.” 

“The 20 new SAM-curated murals are going to draw visitors to the city and encourage them to walk and explore the city streets – which means opportunities for New Rochelle businesses to introduce themselves to new customers,” said Lynn Green, vice president of NRCA. “It’s a win-win.” 

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