Bailey Avenue has been given a colorful injection of life, with the addition of a new public mural. Community stakeholders came together over the course of a year to add a splash of color to the street. The work of art was made possible thanks to the spearheading partnership of the Bailey Avenue Business Association (BABA) and Villa Maria College. The mural was funded by Villa Maria College. Faculty and students at the School of Arts at Villa Maria were instrumental in creating and installing the vibrant focal point.
The mural is located at 3162 Bailey Avenue, across from the Uptown Theatre of Performing Arts (originally The Varsity). The Uptown Theatre, along with the University District Community Development Association, was awarded a $150K grant in 2014, that is being used to restore the theater (see more here). Theater owner, Ibrahim Cissé, is also the owner of ABCIS Technology Services (operated out of the theater) and happens to be founder of BABA. The community activist purchased the theater in 2010 as a way to stabilize the neighborhood, run community programming, and eventually open a restored and fully operation 630-seat theater facility and performing art venue.
As of late, there has been a groundswell of grassroots activity along this section of Bailey, with neighborhood cleanups, ReTree efforts, and additional property improvements. The neighborhood is also part of the Buffalo Promise Neighborhood.