SIMONE Sheridan is looking to put Newcastle on the global map next month.
Her business, Street Art Walking, has been invited to an international conference in Detroit on April 10.
The inaugural Placemaking Leadership Council Meeting will allow participants to network with others who are passionate about revitalising city centres and compare ideas on the planning, management and design of public spaces.
Ms Sheridan began Street Art Walking in 2010 and is striving to create a more vibrant Newcastle through ‘‘turning empty space into creative places’’.
Creating colourful murals on boring, grey business walls is one example.
Ms Sheridan points to a space on Morgan Street, once used for ‘‘urination and drug use’’, that has improved since the group’s clean-up.
Artist Alex Ball, with the help of Street Art Walking, created a mural there in 2011.
‘‘I think that since we put the mural up it increased traffic and helped revitalise it,’’ she said.
Ms Sheridan needs to find money to fund her Detroit trip. She is prepared to pour in her own money but she needs help to cover basic air fare costs.
‘‘This is a huge network opportunity for the city,’’ she said.
‘‘Newcastle in general is in the process of thinking up ways to change unused space so we need to be part of this conversation.
‘‘There’s a lot of parallels . . . and much can be learnt from their community art projects.’’