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 our goals for the Mural Program:
- Use creative placemaking efforts as a way to create dialogue around social justice issues and community concerns, and to bring together our diverse citizenry through community-based, grassroots collaboration.
- Reveal the vibrancy of Kinston through the cultural experiences that promote history, the arts and regional authenticity that makes this city special.
- Revitalize downtown, recreating the “Magic Mile,” as a cultural and shopping experience.
- Promote Kinston as a destination for tourists and for creative people to live, work and sell their wares.
- Provide creative growth and economic opportunities for local and regional artists.
The City is currently identifying and recruiting members for an ad-hoc (short-term) Selection Committee that will provide oversight of the Mural Program. The Committee will meet an estimated 6 times over a 9-month period starting in late August 2019. Members will be expected to participate actively and engage in thoughtful, respectful discussion. Outside work (outside of meetings) will be required.
The Selection Committee will have a number of responsibilities, including: 1) refining the program’s goals, curating mural locations, selecting artists based on qualifications and alignment with program goals, and the approval of concepts.
If you would like to apply to serve on the Mural Program Selection Committee, please fill out this online form, available at the hyperlink below:
It is our goal that the Selection Committee be an inclusive, citizen-based process:
- Membership will be representative of Kinston’s diversity
- Artists/artistic background (but can’t apply for mural if Committee member)
- Downtown property and business owners
- Members from other art-related committees and organizations
- New to civic engagement with aptitude for future civic leadership
Mural Locations – Calling Downtown Property Owners
The City is in the process of selecting and securing permissions for the specific locations of the outdoor murals. You may view and download the Owner Permission form here. This form provides more information on the roles and responsibilities of the City and the property owner as it relates to the mural program.
If you own a downtown property and are interested in putting your property forward for consideration by the Selection Committee, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information: your name, property address, and description of the proposed mural location.
Artist Selection – RFQ to be released in late Summer 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 late summer 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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