Five new bus shelter designs will be installed next month in Portland, adding to the nine artistic bus shelters already in place along METRO routes.

Selected artists for Phase II include the team of Zenab Bastawala and Karen Merritt, Titi de Baccarat, Jocelyn Lee, Ben Potter and Carter Shappy. Their final drawings and designs will be revealed once the installation is completed at the end of summer. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for Sept. 8.

This expansion of the Creative Bus Shelter Initiative, which began in 2017, was made possible by a $25,000 matching grant awarded to Creative Portland in May 2021 by the National Endowment for the Arts as part of the “Our Town” grant program focusing on creative placemaking. This is the second time the NEA has awarded CP this grant.

The 18-month Phase II project began in spring 2021 when CP approached local artists who have worked with the organization in different capacities. They also issued an open call. January marked the first meeting of a volunteer review committee of cultural leaders and arts community stakeholders, composed of Kat Violette of GPCOG, Denise Beck of METRO, Kelly Hrenko, chairperson of the art department for the University of Southern Maine, Daniel Minter of Indigo Arts Alliance, Dinah Minot of CP, and local artist Ebenezer Akakpo.

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