Downtown McMinnville

Oregon's Favorite Main Street

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Ben Franklin statue added to McMinnville's permanent art collection

Public art marches on in McMinnville, with a number of interesting announcements and events, including some very exciting news about a certain chrome-domed colonial gent who has been lurking about our US Bank Plaza in recent months.

Yes, it’s true. The news about Ben Franklin arrived so suddenly last week, and so shocked us that we can’t help but think it was like a lightning strike on a kite string to which a certified genius-lunatic had tied a metal key. Ben, as you may know, is a bronze sculpture that has been on loan to us by Utah artist Gary Price while our Committee for Public Art began a campaign to raise the $38,000 needed to buy him and make Ben a permanent part of our city art collection.

A few weeks ago, downtown Manager Kris Gullo received a phone call from an accounting firm that represented a very generous and very anonymous donor who wished to inquire as to the balance of funds needed to secure Ben in McMinnville for keeps. Kris blushingly named an astronomic figure and an hour later she received another call: The donor was willing to put up all of the necessary dough! The check was promptly delivered to the city, and last week it was announced that Ben is now a permanent fixture here. Which will come as no small relief to all of the people who have been shamelessly throwing themselves at him, in broad daylight, no less.

Add to this our monthly Third Saturday Art Walk (scheduled the third Saturday of every month from 2 to 8 p.m. at participating downtown merchants) and you’ll see that it doesn’t take a genius flying a kite in a lightning storm to figure out that McMinnville is a very artful place these days. 

The McMinnville Downtown Association works to promote and enhance our historic downtown as the economic, social and cultural heart of the community.

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