b"Stevie interacts with one of the new sculpturesGallery AlleyIn 2017, Downtown Wichita received a grant from the Knight Foundation Fund at the Wichita Community Foundation to create a temporary public space in the alley located at 616 E. Douglas Avenue. The organization transformed the space into Gallery Alley, which included the addition of sculptures by local artists, caf seating, festoon lighting and a community mural on the brick pavers. The alley served as a venue for local artists to showcase their work during the First Friday monthly art crawl. Following these temporary improvements, the City of Wichita permanently closed the alley to vehicular traffic in 2019 in an effort to improve pedestrian safety and encourage walkability.With the alley now established as a permanent public space, Downtown Wichita partnered with Envision and received an additional grant from the Knight Foundation Fund at the Wichita Community Foundation to further enhance the space by creating a destination for inter-sensory art experiences. Five local artists' proposals were selected to create work for Gallery Alley with a conscious effort to serve all visitors, with specific consideration for individuals of all ages who are blind, visually impaired and for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The artwork is currently underway with plans to install in 2021.Flowers on DouglasThe Flowers on Douglas beautification project is a key component to enhancing vibrancy in the urban core. The flowers evoke a sense of pride and beauty for downtown in residents, visitors and businesses. The program launched in 2017 through an ongoing partnership between Downtown Wichita, the City of Wichita and community partner Cindy Carnahan. Cindy is a passionate gardener and local real estate professional who continues to help lead the project through ongoing fundraising efforts and lending her expertise with the planning of the flower arrangements. To date, the project has added over 120 planter pots and 85 hanging baskets along Douglas Avenue from Main to Washington Street that are updated seasonally. The floral arrangements are planted by a team of talented, volunteer Master Gardeners and are maintained by Hein Landscape. Funding for this project comes from both the Self Supported Municipal Improvement District (SSMID) and private donations, which can be made at www.flowersondouglas.org. This community initiative creates a welcoming environment for anyone exploring downtown. View more photos and make a donation at www.flowersondouglas.org. 20"