A mural in downtown Highland is shown. Staff photo by Joseph S. Pete
A mural in downtown Highland is shown. Staff photo by Joseph S. Pete
Highland lost the landmark Town Theatre that entertained generations of Region residents and was supposed to anchor a downtown arts district. 

But the town continues to gain momentum on its efforts to improve its vacancy-peppered downtown with the arts, a strategy that's proven successful in many other communities. 

The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs recently awarded the Highland Redevelopment Commission $5,000 to expand the Sculpture and Art Walk, which currently consists of three murals in a parking lot by the Sip Coffeehouse and sculpture by the Erie Lackawanna Trail. The money will be used to commission local artists and Highland High School students to paint three murals on downtown buildings.

Artists Jessica Haug, Liz Mares and Melissa Washburn painted the first three murals, which are all nature-themed. The new pieces will be under the theme "Beyond Borders" and incorporate the town's South Shore Line poster. 

Hebron also received a $5,000 grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs to install a sail-like pavilion, sidewalks and picnic tables at Novreske Park.

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