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KEDCO Talent & Entrepreneurship Stories: Using public art to create a welcoming landscape for all

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

At the recent KEDCO Annual Meeting, a surprise announcement was shared about a new opportunity to support public art in Kosciusko County.

The Kosciusko “All Things Art” Fund was recently established as a means to raise and hold funds from contributors for public art projects in the community. Dollars from the fund will be granted to local units of government such as the City and towns, to use for public art projects within Kosciusko County.

Why public art?

Public art contributes to the quality of life of a community, which plays a vital role in the local economy. “Public art encourages tourism, and offers the invitation to residents and visitors to explore, appreciate, and experience art within our community,” said KEDCO Leadership Partner Suzie Light.

Public art can play a crucial part in building communities. An article published by The National Civic League states: “Public art plays an invaluable role in the process of community building. Not only does it establish and beautify public spaces, it expresses and supports a sense of neighborhood history, culture and identity and helps drive economic vitality…”

“Are people seeking meaningful work or a great place to live? We know the answer is both,” said KEDCO CEO Alan Tio. “Together, we want to continue building upon efforts to make this place where people thrive personally and professionally, and that means investing in quality-of-life amenities.”

Public art invites all to take part. It has potential to increase foot traffic, and encourage people to engage where they’re at, whether that’s by capturing photos in front of a mural or experiencing beauty and tranquility while walking the trails. It impacts how we experience a community, and it can build a sense of belonging creating an accessible and welcoming landscape to all.

How can public art make a difference in our community?

In addition to learning from other communities and best practices, through Forward Kosciusko and the Hoosier Enduring Legacy Program (HELP) Kosciusko we now know that residents desire more placemaking projects within their communities, such as adding more public art which contributes to the quality of place. 

“We distributed a survey to community members earlier this year to help us understand from their perspectives, the top priorities for enhancing their respective communities,” said Community Coordinator for HELP Kosciusko Amy Roe. “What we found was ‘enhancing quality of place’ was ranked either the top or second priority for each participating community. And this newly created fund will certainly serve as a way to enhance the quality of place of our local communities.”

How does the Kosciusko All Things Art Fund work?

The fund is held within the Kosciusko Development Land Trust, a 501(c)(3) organization, and part of the KEDCO Family of Businesses. The fund will provide money to units of local government such as the City of Warsaw, Towns and County, who in turn will determine how the funds will be used toward public art projects in each respective community. 

KEDCO Leadership Partner Suzie Light said, “This fund is one way to bring more public art to our communities through private contributions.”

A volunteer committee of local community members will determine when and how undesignated funding is distributed. Contributions may be designated to a specific community within Kosciusko County if desired. All contributions are tax deductible. 

How can I contribute to the fund?

All contributions to the Kosciusko All Things Art Fund are tax deductible. Contributions may be made online via or checks may be mailed to:

Kosciusko Development Land Trust (KDLT)

102 S. Buffalo St., Warsaw, IN 46580

Memo line: All Things Art Fund and community designation only if desired.

To learn more about KEDCO and how the organization is making an impact in Kosciusko County visit, and stay connected with KEDCO via Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin