From Utility Pole to Art Installation: Driving Community Engagement for Verizon


Powell Tate has supported Verizon’s 5G deployment since it started in 2019 with public affairs strategies to generate local support for the network build out.



5G is critical to Verizon’s future success. This next generation mobile network delivers blazing speeds and low latency thanks to thousands of small antennae deployed in neighborhoods and on city streets. But those new antennae and utility poles can generate pushback from local community members concerned about the aesthetics of new infrastructure intended to hide in plain sight. 

Our Approach

2022our approach
We came up with a simple idea: Instead of trying to make the utility poles and antenna fade into the background, how about transforming them into artistic focal points that celebrate the community’s style, culture, and heritage? By flipping the script on aesthetics Verizon could empower the community to make 5G infrastructure their own and get people excited about the next generation of connectivity.

Our Solution

Our first opportunity to implement the 5G Arts Project came in Harrisburg, PA where a 5G pole installed outside the doors of the Susquehanna Art Museum was not a welcome addition to the streetscape when it first appeared. We led a collaboration between Verizon’s network, government affairs, and communications teams to pilot the 5G Arts Project in partnership with the museum and a young Harrisburg artist who created an exciting decorative wrap for the pole designed to bring an “espresso shot of color” to the museum entrance, according to the artist.
On March 23, 2022, we organized an unveiling of the design at a media day celebration attended by every local TV news outlet, state senators, staff from the mayor’s office, and local arts community members. The project generated overwhelmingly positive coverage and now serves as a blueprint that we are taking to other parts of the country as part of Verizon’s commitment to placemaking.


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