Sidewalks and crosswalks throughout Allentown are being painted with rainbows. As the first part of an ongoing initiative to support the LGBTQ community in Buffalo, the “Rainbows on Allen” project aims to provide permanent symbols of acceptance that last beyond Buffalo’s Pride Week.
“People have such a strong emotional feeling and connection with the rainbow flag that’s flown during the month of June, but it comes down after that,” said Seth Amman, Board President of the Allentown Association. “So the main goal of this initiative is to literally stamp the image and the symbol of the rainbow out in the public.”
The Allentown Association and The Pride Center of Western New York received a $1,000 grant from the foundation Awesome Buffalo to complete this project. As of Thursday, rainbows had been painted onto two sidewalks in Allentown. Additional sidewalks and crosswalks will be painted in the near futue.
Organizers of the initiative said that they want the public art to promote inclusiveness for everyone in the community.
“The street is actually the perfect mixing realm and the perfect place to have these types of conversations because it exists for everyone out in the open. So it’s a very public activity just to walk down the street,” said Amman.
Allentown has been a longtime hub for the LGBTQ community, and Amman said the “Rainbows on Allen” project saw the Allentown Association and the Pride Center of WNY work cooperatively with the city and local businesses.
“That’s part of the goal of this symbol, that Allentown and the city at large is a place of acceptance, is a place of inclusiveness and is a place of unity for everyone,” Amman said.
Completion of the “Rainbows on Allen” project coincides with an art gallery event comprised of LGBTQ artists, the Chroma/First Friday Gallery Walk on Friday. The Pine Apple Company will host an event to start the night with music and other art on display.