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Group paints electrical boxes to beautify New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -- A group of New Orleanians work to beautify the city by painting electrical boxes. The big, gray eyesores are transformed into beautiful pieces of art but just as the program expands, funding is running out.

In Lakeview and Mid-City, mini murals dot many street corners.

Joseph Pearson is one of about 15 artists who helps transform electrical boxes into pieces of art. "I thought it was an interesting challenge to come out and paint a box," said Pearson.

Jeannie Tidy came up with the idea after first wanting to beautify her San Diego neighborhood. The project there was so successful, she brought the idea to New Orleans. "It's a very important part of bringing our neighborhoods back," said Tidy.

After garnering interest from neighborhood associations for particular boxes, Tidy's group, Community Visions Unlimited, calls on local painters to come up with ideas. Tidy explains, "The artists do their little drawings and once they submit, it's approved, as long as we have the money, we tell them go ahead."

Problem is, the group's been using grant money to buy the paint and pay the artists a small amount, but now, the grant money is just about out. Tidy says even if artists volunteer their time, supplies will still need to be purchased. So she's looking into some alternatives. Tidy explains, "Businesses could certainly do this and sponsor a district. I even thought, Broad Street, wouldn't it be great for the Zulu organization to sponsor some boxes on Broad Street?"

Tidy says she and the artists have gotten such great feedback, she'd hate to see the project end now.

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