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Identifying Midtown - Graphically

Alliance leaders decided a few years back that the best answer to the "am I in Midtown?" question, was to establish a graphic identity for growing urban center. Since then the Alliance has worked with city officials to allow for colorful artistic banners to line the main thoroughfares in Midtown, identifying the thriving business district to residents and visitors. No such policy existed for areas that were not already special tax districts, so MRA staff and community partners paved the way for other areas to allow for bannering of certain streetscapes. 

Banners in other cities create a sense of place, establish a destination and can also soften a hardscape if placed in appropriate areas. This is the original banner that was up on Midtown's main streets in 2018.

Banner Art Contest

In 2019, MRA worked with local artists in the community to display original local art on the banners after the initial destination banners were changed out. We held the 1st Annual Banner Art Contest sponsored by Capital Bank. The artists submitted design samples on the theme "Midtown Inspires....". Our winner was Heath Hilliker with her design "Midtown Inspires Happiness". Check out her design here or go down Six Forks or Wake Forest Rd to see it in person!

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Banner Art Contest

The theme for the 2021 contest was Wish You Were Here to give notice to the special hidden treasures in Midtown that we want others to come see. Artist Kelly Schrader intertwined different pieces of artwork seen in Midtown in her design. Artist Rich Gurnsey highlighted the Blue Heron to signify those seen at the Lassiter Mill and at Shelley Lake, signifying Midtown's natural beauty. Come see their banners on Six Forks Road, Wake Forest Road and St. Albans Road!

midtown graphic identity - artist spotlight

Our 2022 banners were designed by local artist Chris Young. Chris, now retired, was the regional executive of First Citizens Bank and a long-time Midtown advocate. She was one of Midtown Raleigh Alliance's founding members and a former Chairperson. Chris was a leader in spearheading the MRA Banner Contest. She says she wanted to portray "Midtown as a destination of choice." We are so excited to have her art up on the poles for all to see!

Check out the article in Raleigh Magazine!

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