The recent Palo Alto City Council initiative, UpLift Local, is working to support economic recovery in the community through local business promotions, efforts to expand outdoor dining options and art.

Originally known as the Summer Streets program, UpLift Local has pushed to establish pedestrian-only zones along California Avenue, University Avenue and various downtown Palo Alto neighborhoods. Through creating more opportunities for outdoor dining and retail business, UpLift Local hopes to help Palo Alto businesses recuperate from the pandemic’s toll on commerce and income. 

The digitally printed mural “Lost in My Abstract Garden” by Carrie Lederer hangs in an alley off California Avenue. “You can see if you can find all eight murals that have been created in the City of Palo Alto by local artists,” Assistant Director of Planning and Development Services Rachel Tanner said. Photo: Akhil Joondeph

To promote UpLift Local’s work around the community, a series of temporary art installations have been placed around Palo Alto’s business districts. Eight Palo Alto artists created unique pieces conveying resilience and positivity in the face of difficult and uncertain times. 

“If you are into public art, I really encourage you to get out and take a look at our temporary murals pilot project,” Assistant Director of Planning and Development Services Rachel Tanner said at a March 16 community check-in meeting. “Some of them have interactive components … and maybe you can see if you can find all eight murals.”