Downtown Kinston Mural Program
The City of Kinston received funding from the NEA Our Town program to support the creation of a Downtown Kinston Mural Program in which the City will commission up to ten original outdoor public murals, to be completed by August 2020. The mural locations will be scattered throughout downtown, with the aim of enhancing connectivity between cultural and economic assets in Kinston’s city center.
The creation of the murals will coincide with a City-led $3.2 million downtown streetscape improvement project (to include new street trees, sidewalks, crosswalks, parking street lights, and traffic patterns).
Here are the goals for the program, adopted by the Selection Committee in October 2019:
- To use creative placemaking efforts as a way to promote dialogue around social justice issues and community concerns, and to bring together our diverse citizenry through community-based, grassroots collaboration.
- To reveal the vibrancy of Kinston through the cultural experiences that promote the history, arts, sports, and regional authenticity that make this city special.
- To revitalize downtown as a cultural and shopping experience for both residents and tourists.
- To provide economic opportunities for local and regional artists, establishing Kinston as a place for creative people to live, work, and sell their wares.
- To inspire, motivate, and instill pride in Kinstonians by creating an accessible outdoor gallery of beautiful and thought-provoking public art that reflects the unique character of our community.
A Selection Committee has been formed to provide oversight of the Mural Program. The Selection Committee has a number of responsibilities, including: 1) refining the program’s goals, 2) curating mural locations, 3) selecting artists based on qualifications and alignment with program goals, and 4) the approval of concepts.
The members of the 2019-2020 Downtown Mural Program Selection Committee are:
- Geraldyne Barbour
- Courtney Boyette
- Prishonda Daniels
- Celestine Davis
- Tyndall Davis
- Kenyari Fields
- Kyaira Harper
- Stephen Hill
- William Hudson
- Rita Joyner
- Robert Koonce
- Lessette Kornegay
- Sandy Landis
- James Mumford
- Brandon Potter
- Felicia Solomon (Council Member)
- Kristal Suggs (Council Member)
- Bennett Wynne
Artist Selection – RFQ to be released in Winter 2019
The City, with recommendations from the Selection Committee, expects to select up to ten artists for up to ten murals. Artists and artist teams are welcome to express interest in completing one mural and/or a series of murals via a competitive application process.
A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) is in the works and will be released in Winter 2019. This will be a qualifications-based selection process; artists will develop concepts after they are selected based on their past experience, artistry, alignment with the program’s goals, and demonstrated interest.
The City is especially interested in receiving applications from artists with experience and interest in collaborative, community-based mural projects that build social capital, represent diversity, and develop a sense of communal ownership over public spaces.
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