Daily News

Fresh Paint Springfield Festival Releases Economic Impact Report

SPRINGFIELD — Fresh Paint Springfield, the first-ever downtown mural festival that took place in June 2019 and transformed 10 large exterior walls into art, has released a report on the positive economic impact that occurred in Springfield from last year’s festival.

Fresh Paint Springfield has also announced plans for a 2020 festival, which is set to take place June 1-13, 2020 and will paint exterior walls in Mason Square and downtown Springfield. Nominations for 2020 murals on walls in Mason Square or downtown can be made at www.freshpaintspringfield.com/walls.

The economic-impact study involved a team of specialists from the UMass Design Center and Jessica Payne Consulting to measure concrete participatory, financial, cultural, community, and environmental outcomes of the festival. The full report can be downloaded at www.freshpaintspringfield.com.

The study found that Fresh Paint Springfield stimulated new investment in the downtown community and showcased the connection between public art and economic development. The resulting economic impact to Springfield was $361,481.

The study also found that business owners benefited from an uptick in revenue during the festival, and the murals permanently improved the walkability of downtown. All business owners reported that sponsoring the festival was a good use of city and state economic-development funds, and would like to see Fresh Paint Springfield happen again.

Respondents also overwhelmingly agreed that the murals and festival events valued public art and built a greater sense of community. Fresh Paint Springfield events generated interactions among individuals of diverse age, race, and ethnicity in ways they had not necessarily seen as typical in Springfield. An estimated total of 1,800 individuals participated. 

Fresh Paint Springfield also generated extensive positive media coverage, reaching almost 1.5 million people, and was effective in improving perceptions of Springfield. The Festival’s Facebook page had 4,861 ‘engaged users’ and 85,800 page impressions, and its Instagram posts with the hashtag #freshpaintspringfield had been liked over 20,000 times. 

The inaugural festival drew 12 sponsors, including foundations, nonprofits, municipal agencies, and private businesses, 82% of which have headquarters in Springfield.