Public works can transform an area. An alley wall becomes a stunning mural. A sidewalk emits playful sounds. A blue bear peeps into a convention center. These types of public projects have a powerful impact on a community. Nonprofit public arts facilitator, Concrete Couch, knows this and strives to bring together communities through similar projects.

For nearly a decade, the Colorado Springs-based organization has helped organize public works across the state and internationally. The nonprofit establishes relationships between community groups that may not have interacted otherwise. The goal for each instillation? To not be needed as the facilitator to create the next one.

And there usually is a next one. What most find rewarding from the experience is not the finished project, but the process that led to it. Artist and teacher Naomi Marshall has worked with the group for almost seven years and enjoys learning new skills with each installation. But more importantly, she says, “I have also become a part of this beautiful niche of people that not only work together but nurture each others’ lives.”

Get Involved: You don’t have to be a Picasso or a Monet to take part in a Concrete Couch project. To find out about existing projects in your community, check Concrete Couch’s current events calendar or sign up for their newsletter. For more information, visit

—Photo courtesy of Concrete Couch.