Jeffersonville is aiming to improve its existing art installations and offer new opportunities for creativity to the community this year.

The Jeffersonville Public Art Commission will focus on engaging residents in new ways as part of this year’s “Amplify” theme. Public Art Administrator Emily Dippie will present the plan to the Jeffersonville City Council on Tuesday, where the commission will ask for about $85,000 in additional funding for contracting, equipment and other day-to-day operations.

“We’re definitely in the business of making new art, so that’s always a priority in the plan,” Dippie said. “But we also try to do community events and community arts initiatives as well, things that will have real community impact.”

Much of the plan centers around the NoCo Jeffersonville Arts & Cultural District, a 22-acre space along Spring Street near downtown. Along with some aesthetic improvements to the district’s infrastructure, the city will showcase some of its recently-added components, like the new digital art gallery. The gallery displays photographs, videos and other visual art on six large screens.

But Dippie said organizing NoCo’s offerings is only one piece of the puzzle. The commission hopes to find ways to attract people to the arts district for everyday use, instead of it only being a destination for events.

“How do we effectively program that space, and how do we create it to be a space that’s equitable and accessible?” Dippie said.

The commission is also introducing new projects to bring the arts directly to residents. The group recently received a grant from Samtec Cares, a program that supports local quality-of-life initiatives, to build the NoCo Arts Mobile.

Dippie described the project as an “art studio on wheels.”

“Our hope is to be able to come into our neighborhoods, our communities, our parking lots, and bring art initiatives wherever we can park our truck,” she said.

Other plans include a mural festival that’s slated for October, as well as three art markets and a block party to receive community feedback later this year.

John Boyle is a corps member with Report For America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. John’s coverage of Southern Indiana is funded, in part, by the Caesars Foundation of Floyd County, Community Foundation of Southern Indiana and Samtec, Inc.

John Boyle is a reporter and editor at WFPL news focused on Southern Indiana. He is a corps member with Report For America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.