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John Mellencamp donates $50K to build a plaza in his “Small Town,” next to mural honoring him

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Courtesy of The TribuneJohn Mellencamp closed out 2019 by offering a gift of $50,000 to Seymour, Indiana, the small town where he was born.  The money’s intended to be used for the completion of a plaza that’s being created next to a mural honoring the singer/songwriter.

According to local newspaper The Tribune, at a meeting of Seymour’s Board of Public Works and Safety on December 31, the town’s outgoing mayor, Craig Luedeman, read a letter from Mellencamp and his family that says, “We are pleased to commit $50,000 to this project and pledge to work with you and the incoming administration to finalize this plaza to be completed in 2020.”

The mural, which was unveiled in November, is painted on the side of This Old Guitar Music Store, whose owner used to play in a band with John. It features a 35-foot image of Mellencamp leaning on an acoustic guitar, as well as a smaller picture of him wearing his high school jacket.  Also included is the lyric “I was born in a small town” — from his classic tune “Small Town” — and a sign noting that he’s a 2008 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee.

Mellencamp’s letter to the mayor noted that he and his family had contacted an engineering firm that has come up with a design for the plaza that they think will be “a very nice meeting area in downtown Seymour.”

Luedeman said the plan calls for the removal of six parking spaces and the addition of several benches from which people will be able to see and photograph the mural.

The motion to accept Mellencamp’s gift passed unanimously.

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