SMIF awards a record 554 gallons in Paint the Town Program


Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) awarded $22,160 worth of paint from local hardware stores to 16 communities across its 20-county region through its Paint the Town Grant Program. This program is designed to engage volunteers and build collaborative efforts that beautify communities through painting community murals, welcome signs or historic structures. This grant is a partnership between SMIF, Ace Hardware stores and Arrow Hardware & Paint.

A record 16 projects received a total of 554 gallons of paint. The grant is awarded to projects that will have a visual impact, provide a public benefit to the community and involve volunteer participation.

Local 2021 Paint the Town Grant award recipients include:

•    15 gallons to the city of Altura to restain and add a mural to the equipment building for Altura Youth Sports.

•    10 gallons to Lewiston-Altura Public Schools to paint two track- and baseball-themed murals on school grounds.

•    20 gallons to the Rushford Area Historical Society to repaint the historic Grinde School House and Episcopal Church.

•    20 gallons to Wabasha Main Street for a downtown mural depicting vegetables to draw attention to the local Food Share program.

•    10 gallons to Winona County 4-H to update a mural on the Winona County Fairgrounds in St. Charles.


“We had an incredible response to the Paint the Town Grant program this year,” said Tim Penny, SMIF president and CEO. “I am not surprised. After such a difficult year, people seem energized by having a community project to look forward to.”

Since 1997, SMIF has helped distributed more than 10,500 gallons of paint to 293 projects in the region through various programs. The Paint the Town Grant program was officially launched in 2015.

For more information on SMIF’s grant programs, contact Jennifer Heien, grants coordinator, at 507-214-7040 or


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