Mark Joeckel

Mark Joeckel

Speaker Bio:

As Executive Director of Arlington Proud (501c3) and as a social media and community development specialist, I focus on partnerships with municipalities, businesses, non-profits community groups and the media. We work together to develop healthy and creative neighborhoods based on the Arlington Proud Priorities. Alongside this work, I partner with the same groups to market Arlington to potential new residents.

Arlington,Texas Proud to Call it Home started online in 2012 to serve as a base for this process of re-neighboring. Our online Proud Family now numbers over 30,000 followers and friends. 100,000 interactions take place weekly on our social media platforms and website.

Neighborhood by neighborhood, we are partnering to develop creative, safe, healthy and fun “places” to live and develop an atmosphere attractive for starting new businesses.


Initiating Community Change Via Social Media

In this session, Mark Joeckel, Executive Director of Arlington Proud, will describe the process that Proud utilized, online, to create community, develop a plan and mobilize local artists, to paint a 360 foot mural.  The formerly "360 foot, ugliest wall in Arlington", is now a massive mural, painted by local artists. The mural is located at the Park Plaza Shopping Center on the Eastside of Arlington, Texas.

Joeckel posted a picture of the "ugly" wall was in February, 2014.  The mural project commenced on May, 2014 and was completed in June of 2014. The parking lot along the mural  is now a gathering place for car enthusiasts, families and neighbors for music events and thousands of photos utilizing the 14 murals as unique backgrounds. The mural projected also initiated other small and large scale changes in the community.  Those will be discussed as well and what is next in the area.

Based on their experience of creating the 14 murals at Park Plaza,  Arlington Proud has launched a plan for 9 murals across the city employing local artist for each mural in 2016 as well as 9 new Little Free Libraries created by locals.  Student artists are also involved in the projects as apprentice artist from local schools. 

This model of community change, community and economic development, driven by online interactions, is a key strategy for Arlington Proud in their mission of redeveloping neighborhoods and marketing the city of Arlington to the 35 and under crowd.

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