Davis Downtown Business Association launches Heart to Hearts project to benefit downtown businesses

Davis Downtown Business Association launches Heart to Hearts project to benefit downtown businesses

Photo Credits: Justin Han / Aggie. A bustling Davis Farmer's Market pre-COVID. The Davis Farmer's Market is a favorite spot for students and community members alike.

Collective art project brings together community, business and art

The Davis Downtown Business Association (DDBA) launched a collective art project called Heart to Hearts that invites the community to create heart-shaped artwork in support of downtown Davis businesses. The opportunity to submit artwork opened on Jan. 25 and will close on Feb. 28. All proceeds will benefit downtown Davis businesses. 

“We are looking for artists of all ages and skill levels to create hearts as an expression of love for small businesses and our community,” the official website reads. “Hearts can also be designed in memoriam of those lost to us or as a symbol of hope for the future.”

The website detailed that submissions can be drawings, paintings, graphic design or other forms of media, but they must fit in the shape of a standard heart. After the submission period ends, the DDBA creative team will create collective heart collages for purchase online. Buyers will be able to select which business will receive the proceeds of their purchase.  

DDBA Board Member Yelena Ivashchenko explained how she came up with the idea for a collective art project. 

“I had this idea of how we can connect community [and] business in relation to the arts,” Ivashchenko said. “Instead of some cheesy Valentine’s Day gathering, I wanted to send a message to the community: let’s give your heart to your favorite downtown business.” 

DDBA Event Coordinator Autum Batton described her hopes for high community participation. 

“We’re giving the artists five weeks to submit their hearts to us, so we’re hoping that giving them enough time [will encourage] a lot of people to enter their hearts,” Batton said. “As a result, we’ll have a lot of people wanting to buy the local art to support not only the artists, but the Davis downtown businesses.”

Batton noted the larger benefit for downtown Davis businesses if there is higher participation from the community. 

“The more people that submit the hearts and the more people that buy the heart collective at the end of February, the more money that we can spread around downtown and share the wealth,” Batton said. 

Wedra added that the art will not only hold monetary benefits, but decorative benefits as well. 

“The art will decorate the downtown,” Wedra said. “Once we have all these artists’ hearts, we’re definitely going to find ways to decorate downtown.” 

DDBA Marketing Coordinator Aaron Wedra emphasized the importance of self-expression. 

“We think everyone is an artist,” Wedra said. “This is for any age and any skill level.”

Ivashchenko further explained that this project acknowledges downtown Davis in general. 

“It just additionally brings awareness to people that Davis downtown businesses are there for them,” Ivashchenko said. “In this pandemic, they’re still there. They’re still providing their services.”

Batton left a final note of encouragement for supporting the community through the Heart to Hearts project.

“Let’s all get together and show the love for our Davis businesses and just help support one another through all of these challenging times,” Batton said. “Art is a very good way to express yourself, so if you just want to get some frustration out on paper, this is the perfect way to do it.”

Written by: Jelena Lapuz — city@theaggie.org