Our Town

City of Fresno, California

Fresno, California




Park scene.

Mariposa Plaza. In the foreground is Pierre-Auguste Renoir's La Grande Laveuse or The Washer Woman. Photo courtesy of the City of Fresno.

The NEA grant will support the Mariposa Plaza Activation Project. Project activities include the redesign of Mariposa Plaza to accommodate performance art, cultural gatherings, and a new interactive sculpture commissioned via a national call for artists. Mariposa Plaza lies in the heart of downtown Fresno and at the center of the six-block Fulton Mall, an historic pedestrian thoroughfare targeted for reinvestment and revitalization through multiple concurrent planning efforts led by the City of Fresno. The project is expected to better integrate the plaza into the robust collection of public art works along Fulton Mall as well as new high-speed rail and bus rapid transit stations being built less than two blocks away.

Nationally renowned urban design firm Wallace Roberts & Todd (WRT) will oversee the design and community engagement process in collaboration with local designers at Valley Water Wise and Urban Diversity Design. Other key partners include the Fresno Art Museum, Fresno Arts Council, Downtown Fresno Partnership, Creative Fresno, Univision, Fresno County Economic Opportunities Commission and Fresno County Office of Education. Mariposa Plaza sits amidst high-poverty census tracts, and the enhanced public space will serve an estimated 1.5 million passersby and event visitors annually, approximately two-thirds of whom identify as Latino.