3 months ago
Appalshop, Inc is an official partner, with the Town of Pound, EpiCentre Arts, the Historical Society of the Pound and Spearhead Trails, in a $100,000 “Our Town” grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. All told, the grant will support multiple public art installations, two years of the Red Fox Storytelling Festival, and a study about future trail and recreational tourism development.
The public is invited to join a workshop to give input on initial designs for murals to be installed in downtown Pound as part of this “Our Town” grant. The workshop will run from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and be held remotely via Zoom or by livestream on Appalshop’s Facebook page. Find the link to join the Zoom workshop here.
As an official “Our Town” grant partner, EpiCentre Arts is leading the public art creation in Pound. EpiCentre Arts is a visual arts organization made up of artists, art instructors, and students, within an approximate 100 mile radius of Whitesburg, Kentucky. Appalshop regularly collaborates with EpiCentre artists for community art workshops, gallery exhibits, and the creation of public art. Examples of EpiCentre Artists work can be seen in the mural on City Hall in Jenkins and an outdoor photo gallery at the Appalshop in Whitesburg.
On January 27th, Epicentre will unveil initial mural designs developed with community input gathered last fall. The design has not yet been finalized: in fact, EpiCentre welcomes community feedback. The initial concept is for a central mural in the Town of Pound that shows some of the local geography, recreational, historic and cultural attractions. The goal is for the mural to serve as the start of a public Art Trail that will lead to three additional, smaller murals, to be joined by new installations in coming years.
Our final public input workshop on Wednesday January 27th will give community members the opportunity to react to the mural’s content, as well as to our proposal for where to locate it. Feedback will be incorporated into the final installations, anticipated to begin this spring or summer. The art installations are set to be complete in time for the fourth annual Red Fox Storytelling Festival, scheduled for October 22nd and 23rd, 2021.
Appalshop has worked for years to support arts and artists here in rural Appalachia, and this project is just the latest effort to ensure all Americans, not just city-dwellers, can enjoy art in our shared public spaces. Especially in regions like ours — where communities have seen Main Street businesses go dark and populations shrink — we know the stakes of rejuvenating the places that we call home.
The “Our Town” grant enables us to grow existing partnerships and efforts for economic development in Pound, Virginia, and to build on the incredible recreational and cultural assets already beloved by residents and visitors alike. Through public workshops like the one on Wednesday, January 27th, we hope to bring local folks — the people who have the most at stake in Pound’s future — to the table to shape economic development efforts.
Without their support, we wouldn’t undertake this work. We’re grateful to our partners in the Pound who have been leading revitalization efforts for years, and we look forward to seeing you at the public input meeting on Wednesday January 27th!