Common Wealth Murals

Economic and Community Impact Study of Fresh Paint Springfield Mural Festival

Common Wealth Murals creates exceptional murals that meaningfully engage and uplift the community. CWM manages a Community Mural Training Institute, mural festivals, and curated mural installations.

Granby, MA  |

"Hiring Broadsight to do an evaluation was one of the best professional decisions I’ve made.

I learned so much from working with Jessica and have used her evaluation report to leverage funding and new contracts countless times. Just this morning I was presenting at a conference of city planners and foundations and I mentioned her evaluation and after that, her report was all they wanted to know about."

Britt Ruhe, Founder & CEO, Commonwealth Murals, Amherst, MA

Task: Demonstrate the credibility of Fresh Paint Springfield (FPS) 2019, the first mural festival in western Massachusetts.

Solution: Conduct an evaluation to measure the impact of the festival on the local economy, community experience, and perceptions of the city.

Process: Collection of online and street surveys, interviews with muralists and residents, and economic analysis of resulting business revenue.

Outcome: We helped model the first impact study of its kind to measure community and economic benefits of urban murals. We created a 2019 evaluation report written with UMass Design Center, which expanded CWM’s understanding of strategies, efficacy, and impact. CWM disseminated the report widely to funders and hundreds of stakeholders around the nation via conferences and marketing correspondence. The study legitimized and put CWM on the map nationally and internationally as a pioneer in mural production and mural festival management, with commitment to data-driven efficacy and community engagement. Further, the evaluation contributed to fundraising capacity, successful marketing, and acquisition of future festival, training, and installation contracts, including 4-year funding to support FPS.


Broadsight conducted a follow up evaluation of the 2021 festival, focusing on CWM's Community Mural Institute. As CWM’s external evaluator, Broadsight will conduct ongoing evaluative studies of the organization's future programs and work with community engaged muralism.

Our work with CWM garnered interest from the Journal of the American Planning Association, the premier peer reviewed publication for international scholars of planning.  JAPA recently published an article by the 2019 study’s co-authors Lara S. Furtado, PhD and Broadsight founder, Jessica M. Payne, PhD, Inclusive Creative Placemaking Through Participatory Mural Design in Springfield, MA explores the role of murals in fostering neighborhood and community belonging.

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