7/4/17 – There is increased vehicle and pedestrian traffic in downtown Beaver Dam now that the paint is dry on the Walldogs Mural Festival. That comes as no surprise to Walldog founder and Beaver Dam event leader Nancy Bennett says a trend that she has seen over time shows that communities that invest in public are more progressive and have more successful downtowns. Bennett says the Walldogs leave the murals in the community but the Walldogs take a piece of the community back with them. The Walldogs were at the center of the mural festival but Bennett says without strong support from the community, such an event would never come to fruition. The festival itself was organized by Downtown Beaver Dam Inc. along with the Chamber of Commerce, the Arts Association and the Historical Society, among others. Bennett says it is now up to the community to build on this gift of public art. She says do not stop with just the murals and rest your laurels. Instead, use it as a spring board to tell the story of your community, and add to the story by doing more public art in a variety of mediums. Bennett says think outside the box so that people want to continue coming to your community and sharing what you have. And people are already coming to the community just to see the murals first hand. Beaver Dam-native Gloria Schmidt traveled from her home in Waupun over the weekend. Schmidt says not only were the murals beautiful pieces of art but it was amazing to see all the people in the downtown over the weekend. Pat Frankenstein of Beaver Dam also walked from mural to mural this weekend, even though she works alongside one at the American National Bank. Frankenstein says the level of detail and the history it depicts is wonderful and a great thing for the city that hopefully helps continue to revitalize the downtown.