Kady Yellow has been making places come alive since 2010 when she discovered the power of cross-pollinating municipal governments, community organizations, and the arts to build strong urban cores. Kady graduated with Bachelor's degrees in both Mathematical Sciences and Graphic Design from Binghamton University (BU) and went on two work full-time at the university as the Technology Specialist and volunteering as the Creative Director at a local art gallery.
Born and raised in Binghamton, NY—she grew up and out of adversity to later be appointed as the youngest Commissioner for Downtown Development and then co-founded the Department of Public Art, which is “a committed group of artists and activists who are creating public art.” With-in that role she launched MuralFest (modeled after the international trend of creative placemaking) and focused her economic development projects on all things public art, later named Mayoral Advisor to the City of Binghamton on Public Art, to help revitalize her hometown.
In 2014, Kady went to Brooklyn to work as a talent agent and continue her work in community development. She managed the careers of street artists and muralists and helped to guide the outside world to “the power and value of street art.” In 2014 she designed and taught an undergraduate public art course at the State University of New York and was a creative placemaking grant recipient of the American Planning Association’s New York Upstate Chapter. As a teaching-community artist, Kady understands how to successfully manage public projects in a timely and efficient manner with-in project budget and scope. During her time in NYC, her clients included the Museum of the City of New York, Hunter College, Creative Art Works, Renaissance School of the Arts, Brooklyn Arts Council, xMental, Inc. and more.
In 2016, because of her work in New York, she was invited to be a speaker at the Global Mural Conference. That same year, Kady was awarded an artist-in-residence at the Bunnell Street Art Center in Alaska, where she proposed an unusual use of the residency: to help the town of 5,000 launch their first mural program called Peonies on Pioneer. The project was accepted and she went there to bring attention to the flower economy in Homer, a place growing the world’s best peonies, and join the team at the arts center who work tirelessly in support of the arts community. While in Alaska, she was hired by Mayor Berkowitz and the Enzina Marrari, Public Curator of Public Art at the City of Anchorage, to train arts administrators and government employees on how to effectively work with artists.
That summer after working in Alaska she accepted a full-ride Teaching Assistantship at the University of New Orleans and in 2018 graduated with a Master’s in Arts Administration. After a successful summer of field-work as the Volunteer Coordinator in 2017 in Western Ireland, she went on to live and work in Galway, Ireland. Galway was recognized as the European Capital of Cultural 2020 and so she returned to the Galway International Arts Festival to join the team.
In 2019 she published her first book, New Orleans: Murals, Street Art & Graffiti Vol. 1 and worked with Flint Public Art Project (FPAP) to institute FLINT x NOLA, a cultural arts exchange, and serve on the core team to help bring the first international mural fest to Flint, Free City in October of 2019 and is co-authoring her next book on Flint’s street art with Joe Schipani, Executive Director of FPAP.
Shortly after, Yellow relocated to Flint to serve the city full-time as the Director of Placemaking.
How I spend my time:
With community members, business leaders, families, arts leaders, government employees, and other stakeholders
Planning, fundraising for, and then managing a series of pop-up programs in downtown
Identifying Flint's most talented local artists, musicians, community creators
Understand how to best support Flint's hardworking placemakers
Coordinating new site activations
Creating a clear and stream-lined way to see more community celebrations and address inclusivity and equitability
The What's Up Downtown Project (WUD)
WUD aims to remove access barriers to transform Downtown Flint into an inclusive, equitable space by diversifying the types of experiences being offered. That is, to add to Flint's strong traditions and signature events to evolve into a well-known cultural city. The project will implement a year-round, citizen-driven collection of pop-ups to activate beautiful, historic downtown to create a big impact. Authentic art, music, and culture that is being made right in the neighborhoods of Flint, Michigan will be provided new platforms as the way to transform the parks, alleys, and other public spaces into venues for gathering and social change.
The City of Flint, local artist Sandra Branch, Little Miss Flint, Black Lives Matter-Flint Chapter, Joe Schipani, director of the Flint Public Art Project, and Isaiah Oliver, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Greater Flintall combined forces to produce this very powerful piece.
Brush Alley Beautification & Activation
There was a hole in the wall, well in the alley, that all creatives looked at with wide starry-eyes and could easily imagine breathing life into the space. So we did. We highlighted work by local underground Flint artist Pauly Everett and paired it with 3 local DJs and one visiting as well as The Cork on Saginaw to make sure our neighbors and guests were well taken care of and to make the night complete.
Porch Fest events are held across the United States to bring communities together. Specifically, the work being done in my hometown Binghamton NY by Chris Bodnarczeck and in Flint by Megan Heyza of the Porch Project was the core inspiration. During a Porch
Fest, local musicians play concerts on front porches highlighting their music and bringing the
neighborhood together. Recently, as Director of the What’s Up Downtown Project, we worked with Flint residents to
coordinate a Porch Fest event in the Carriage Town Neighborhood. The event featured local
musicians, yoga classes taught by local instructors, personalized poetry written for event participants
by local poets, art installations on abandoned houses, locally crafted food, and much more.
We worked with Carriage Town residents to highlight the unique
character of their neighborhood. After two months of planning the event came to life, boasting nearly
200 participants and 24 creatives (i.e., artists, musicians, yoga instructors, poets).
Porch Fest events provide an opportunity for community groups to re-engage with other another
safely. Funds from this proposal will be used to implement Porch Fest events throughout the City of
Flint in a minimum of five neighborhoods.
FREE CITY International Mural Festival
I was hired to provide a myriad of support services during Free City Mural Fest with the Flint Public Art Project. The organization hosted 25 artists from around the world in Flint, MI for the city's first Mural Festival.
I coordinated the travel, permits & documentation for Free City MuralFest, as well as created all the festival graphics, social media, and designed and implemented the festival events:
-Festival Launch Party in partnership with The Ferris Wheel
-Partnered with University of Michigan to launch a Street Art GIS & design Street Art Panels
Part 1 (Community Foundation, LGBTQIA+) Part 2 (Totem Books, Street Art Commerce)
-I taught a spray paint workshop to court appointed teen women with Easterseals Michigan
Street Art Public Presentations
Would your community benefit from a workshop, training or class on street art?
I design sessions and share my handouts and PowerPoint materials.
First, I always schedule an initial consult. This is a meeting with your organization’s staff/stakeholders and an opportunity for me to ask questions to better understand your organization. In that way, I can truly best serve you in designing content that is custom to your scenario/city/org/scene.
I have been conducting educational activities since 2010, I find that some need me to focus on fundraising/development, some need more info and ideas on project management and some just plain want to get their hands in paint!
FLINT x NOLA
A mural exchange executed in two phases, New Orleans goes to Flint and then Flint comes to NOLA! Artists born/raised/based in the state are selected to visit the partnering city during a week-long mural painting residency.
Street Art Walks
I partnered with Native Hostel, Austin Art Walk, HOPE Outdoor Gallery and the Department of Economic Development to design and launch a street art walking tour of Austin's East side including pieces by Blek le Rat and Meres1 of 5pointz!
Galway International Arts Festival
In 2017 and 2018 I worked for the Galway International Arts Festival in Ireland as the Administrative Assistant. I played a vital role in the development and management of the People Build and the new Festival Community Garden, which was a recommendation that came from my graduate thesis research project while working there as an intern. As an intern Volunteer Coordinator, I co-managed a program of 600 international volunteers, lead Orientation and sat on Arts Administration panels.
Festival of Writing and Ideas
I worked at Borris Castle in Carlow, Ireland as a venue manager. This special event isolates the best and brightest minds in a castle in rural Ireland to explore thought-leadership, journalism, and writing.
Street Art Press & Photography
When KOBRA came to paint New Orleans in August 2019 and called me to get professional photos taken, I took them. I also knew to call local media outlets to cover the story! Both the Big Easy Magazine and the Times-Picayune showed up, check out coverage on their sites!
Street Art Installations
I can re-create the outdoors indoors! Here, I partnered with New Orleans muralist Jay McKay to curate his solo show as an immersive street art experience on Julia Street, the city's contemporary, fine-art district.
Homer, AK's First Mural Program!
A collaboration of civic, private and non-profit partners, the aim was to enliven Pioneer Avenue as an economic and thriving district, attracting visitors and residents to linger and explore Homer’s historic core. Partners sponsored murals with a peony theme to celebrate and leverage Homer’s assets in the arts, agriculture and recreation. The program included workshops for local artists to be trained to paint large-scale after we left. Change out Pioneer Ave for any Main Street Corridor and Homer with any town in the country and you have a recipe for creative placemaking. A way to change the world in your own way.
Welcome Week Service Mural Project
The Welcome Week Service Project is part of Binghamton University’s Roadmap to Premier and is hosted every summer. Approximately 125 incoming freshman will be given the opportunity to volunteer for two days at local community agencies. Participating students will be placed at different community sites based on their preferences indicated prior to the project dates. Students will assist the community agencies with appropriate projects and tasks over a two day period. We designed mural workshops and a grand mural painting for the students!
JulyFest at the Riverwalk (3 days, one stage, 40 artists, 15 bands) was the first time the public space had been programmed with live music and live art. The next year Live at the Waterfront (music and brew) grew from the event and then MuralFest was born.
Still going today, MuralFest is a community-driven and highly engaging event, a mass demonstration of public art, with interactive art activities for all ages, as well as demo painting/crafting by local artists and visiting artists, vendors, and music. Today the festival has grown Countywide. Wouldn't you like to Invite your friends and families to pick up a brush and celebrate local art?
Halsey Street Dream Way Project
I partnered with the Brooklyn Arts Council and xMental, Inc, a non-profit that uses the elements of hip hop (graffiti, break dancing, djaying, mc'ing) to create opportunities for at-risk youth to showcase their work and engage with their communities in a positive manner. We implemented a project to bring 12 international artists to paint hundreds of square feet along the path to the L train in Brooklyn to help inspire kids and families commuting to school and work. The project culminated in a community celebration, inviting residents and performing artists to share their talents and bring attention the space-making project.
The Outdoor Classroom
I taught New Orleans high school students about graffiti history via a walk along the St. Claude Arts District, which includes over 35 mural and graffiti pieces. Here, students from The Net (Gentilly) learn about wildstyle.
I partnered with Dos Rios and New Zealand artist Bruce Greig to paint an indoor, glow in the dark 3-D mural for the new restaurant!
Interviews & articles about Kady and the projects she has lead or was part of a team on!
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LGBTQIA+ Street Art Panel Talk