Marshall named an N.C. SmART Community

Press release from the Madison County Arts Council:

A local team of arts, government and community leaders are launching a series of public meetings to promote and engage the public in the first project of the SmART Communities program of the North Carolina Arts Council. The City of Marshall was selected as a N.C. Arts Council SmART Community, an initiative that transforms downtowns and fuels sustainable economic development, in 2018. The Madison County Arts Council invites you to attend a presentation at the Madison County Arts Center, 90 S. Main Street on Tuesday, Oct. 22 ,at 7 p.m. Come join neighbors, artists and the SmART team for an enlightening and exciting presentation on SmART Communities and the proposed Marshall project.

For more than a year the SmART Marshall team has planned for the premiere project, an artful wayfinding system designed to connect the arts and cultural assets from downtown Marshall, across the French Broad River to Blannahassett Island with three primary goals:

  • activating and enhancing the cultural connectivity, economic vitality and walkability in downtown Marshall through engaging artwork and creative placemaking;
  • To reflect the history, natural beauty and cultural identity of the community;
  • To beautify and add character to the downtown, and reflect the unique characteristics and assets of Marshall

Stone Cloud Studios of Asheville was chosen from 73 artist submissions from across the country to work in Marshall. Their work ranges from large-scale murals to monumental sculpture. The artists, Lara Nguyen and Todd Frahm, will begin a series of community engagement activities in Marshall to learn more about the community and to hear from citizens before developing their plan.

Lara and Todd were chosen because they offer a vast array of mediums we felt fit in with the vibe of Marshall. No one knows what the project is going to be just yet, but we do know it will be well thought out, creative and amazing. Not only are they talented artists, they are personable and passionate about Downtown Marshall and are excited about working with our community on this project” remarked Rhesa Edwards, Vice-President, Marshall Downtown Association and local business/property owner.

The N.C. Arts Council’s SmART Communities program works with local government, local arts groups and the economic development sector in each location to envision projects and plans large enough in scope and scale to transform the community in a significant way, while reflecting the unique assets and character of place.

Since 2012, four SmART communities — Burnsville, Durham, Wilson and Kinston — have showcased the central role the arts play in downtown revitalization and economic growth. Three additional communities were added in 2018: Greenville, Marshall and Morganton.

Marshall SmART Community team members include Nancy Allen, Town Administrator, Town of Marshall; Terry Bellamy, Director of Community and Economic Development, Madison County; Laura Boosinger, Executive Director, Madison County Arts Council; Rhesa Edwards, Vice President, Downtown Marshall Association (DMA); Forrest Gilliam, County Manager, Madison County; Erich Hubner, Program Director, Madison County Arts Council; Betty Hurst, Local Art Consultant; David McClurkin, President, Madison County Arts Council; Rob Pulleyn, Owner, Marshall High Studios; and Ben Smith, Board Member, Madison County Arts Council. For more information, call (828)649-1301

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