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.

Picture1The 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.

Selection Committee

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
  • Kyaira Harper
  • Stephen Hill
  • William Hudson
  • Rita Joyner
  • Robert Koonce
  • Lessette Kornegay
  • Sandy Landis
  • James Mumford
  • Felicia Solomon (Council Member)
  • Kristal Suggs (Council Member)
  • Bennett Wynne


The original timeline has been shifted due to COVID-19. The Mural Program is moving forward through virtual meetings and according to local, state, and federal recommendations for public health and social distancing.

December 3, 2019:

Request for Qualifications (RFQ) opens.

January 20, 2020:

RFQ closes. All applications must be submitted (electronically, by mail, or in person) by 5 PM EST on this date.

February 2020:

Shortlist created and additional materials (such as budget/fee examples) requested. Interviews via Skype or in person (if local/regional) may take place.

June 2020:

Artists selected and notified. Artists matched with walls.

July 2020:

Artists work with City staff and Selection Committee to refine and finalize project concepts, budgets, and fee.

August 2020:

Contracts established with artists.

August to TBD 2020:

Mural projects commence.


Mural projects must be complete.

The City of Kinston reserves the right to change the project timeline.

Artist Selection – RFQ closed on January 20, 2020

A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) was released in December 2019 and closed on January 20th, 2020. The Selection Committee received 175 submissions and is currently reviewing those submissions. This is 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, with recommendations from the Selection Committee, expects to select up to ten artists for up to ten murals.  


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If you have a question, please reach out by email to or contact the City of Kinston Planning Department by phone (252-939-3271).