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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Second Street ‘mural’ is now its own business, to run like a non-profit

Profits earned from merchandise donning the mural's slogan will be donated to small, local charities

WILMINGTON—What started as public art is now operating as its own business.

The Second Street “mural” in downtown Wilmington popped up in December; soon, it could generate enough buzz to contribute to local charities.

RELATED: ‘Public nuisance’ or public art? Muralist wants Wilmington to change its ways

The downtown art piece on the corner of Second and Princess streets spurred the formation of a registered, limited liability company. Though not an official non-profit, the business has announced it will donate all profits made to local charities that would most benefit from its funding.

On Tuesday, Second Street Mural announced the addition of 12 corporate sponsors. One month after the art was installed, its creators started selling various merchandise donning the sign’s logo, “I believe in Wilmington.”

The concept originated with Billy Mellon, owner of Manna. Mellon said he knew that Wilmington considers some public art “graffiti,” so he commissioned artist Ryan Capron to create the “sign.”

“I talked to the owner of the building, I did some research on the ordinances of the whole thing as far as allowable signage,” Mellon said. “Just to be safe I had the guy build it on a frame so it could be attached to the building,” Mellon said.

Once the project was installed, Mellon said it wasn’t long until he realized the attention–both in real life and online–the sign was attracting.

“We started seeing people taking pictures in front of it,” Mellon said. “And then I thought, ‘how can we capitalize on people coming there and then also make it kind of feed itself?'”

Now, Second Street Mural sells T-shirts, tote bags, stickers, and Freakers on its website and at pop-up shops around town. With corporate sponsors now framing the public art downtown, Mellon said there will likely be secondary corporate sponsors that could join the wall.

Mellon said profits will be donated to “charities where $2,500 goes a long way.”

“Right now we’re envisioning giving NourishNC the first sort of pile of money, whenever that may be,” he said. “No one will ever take any money from it that’s not a charity.”

For more information on the Second Street Mural, visit its website.


Little bitty #azaleafestival #popup with some #secondstreetmural #merch

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