02 Feb South Arts Cross-Sector Impact Grant Awarded to the Arts Council
The Greater Augusta Arts Council is pleased to announce it has received the prestigious South Arts Cross-Sector Impact Grant, one of only 16 recipients in 2023 across a nine-state region, for crosswalk art in East Augusta. The grant will fund the creation of three crosswalk murals in one of Augusta’s most hazardous intersections. The murals will be community-created in the East Boundary and Telfair intersection and primarily serve the working-class residents in East Augusta’ neighborhoods who must cross a multi-lane street to access businesses, community centers, and bus stops.
Augusta Traffic Engineering will purchase and install pedestrian activated flashing beacons on either side of East Boundary Street at Telfair, paint crosswalk striping for three crosswalks in the intersection, and create ADA cutouts for the sidewalks.
People are in the habit of crossing wherever and however they can. The community-made crosswalk murals will make the new, safe intersection a desirable and emotionally connected place to cross.
Local artist, Raymond Sturkey, will hold a series of community meetings to brainstorm how residents want to represent themselves in the crosswalk mural, which they will help paint. Ray will create the designs, and guide ten residents in painting three East Augusta Story murals in the crosswalks.
City District 1 Commissioner Jordan Johnson, Augusta’s Parks and Recreation Department and the Greater Augusta Arts Council will hold a celebratory block party after completion of the crosswalk murals. The community brainstorming meetings, the residents engaged in creating the artwork, and the block party are designed to build excitement and community investment in the new, safe crossing in ways that infrastructure improvements alone would not.
The project is funded, in part, by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for The Arts and Georgia Council For The Arts, with matching funds from a private Augusta donor.
The first community meeting was held January 28 at Magnolia Court Apartments and had an amazing turnout from Magnolia Court neighbors with fantastic ideas for artist Ray Sturkey to start with. The three remaining community meetings will be held on February 18 at W.S. Hornsby Middle School, March 18 at Oak Pointe (aka Delta Manor), and April 15 at Magnolia Court Apartments. Please contact the Arts Council at 706-826-4702 to arrange for any requested ADA accommodations. Mural painting will take place June 5-9. A celebratory block party on East Boundary near Telfair Street will take place June 10.