Meredith, NH

Contact Name
Liz Lapham
Project Dates
On Going
Workshop Leader
Creative Communities Exchange (CCX) 2015
Tags
Event
Sponsored by the Greater Meredith Program, the Meredith Sculpture Walk is a committed to developing awareness and enjoyment of public art in Meredith, NH for residents and visitors. It is a year-round, outdoor, juried exhibition featuring works by twenty four New England artists. Sculptures are positioned throughout Main Street in high visibility areas along Main Street, the Mill Falls Marketplace and in our lakeside Hesky and Scenic Parks.
Project Goals
What were the specific goals of this creative economy project? Describe the community development challenge or opportunity that your project was designed to address:
Goals were to bring public art to Meredith, beautifying Meredith and attracting residents and visitors to the down town area. A challenge is that the Main Street of Meredith is off Route 3 which is the main thoroughfare into the town. The Sculpture Walk has made the main street area more of a destination.
If the goals change over time, please describe how:
No change.
Who was involved in this project and what did they do? (be sure to include the partners from outside of the creative sector and how local voices were included):
Sponsors are Meredith Village Savings Bank, the Greater Meredith Program Beautification Fund, Mill Falls at the Lake and Oglethorpe- Fine Arts&Crafts. Partners are Town of Meredith, Town of Meredith Dept. of Public Works, Mill Falls Marketplace, Meredith Public Library, Meredith Historical Society, IL School District. Local creative assets are Christine Hodecker-George, Pete Minkow, Esq. and members of the Meredith Sculpture Walk Committee: Bev Lapham and Sandy Sullivan, co-chairman, Fred Huntress, Steve Hayden, Mary Kahn, Heidi Kitchen, Phil Lonergan, Monica Philbin, Katheryn Rolfe, Nancy Rowley, Janet Sanguedolce, and Liz Lapham, GMP Executive Director
How does this project relate to a larger community development strategy?
It compliments our vision for our town to be a year-round business, service and recreational/social hub for residents, workforce and visitors.
What projects or places, if any, inspired your approach to this creative economy project?
Mill Brook Gallery and Sculpture Garden; Sculpture Walk in Madison, CT
Project Specifics
Please list the steps taken to implement the project:
The idea for creating the Meredith Sculpture Walk began in the fall of 2012. With Bev Lapham and Sandy Sullivan as co-chairs, a committee was formed to make this idea a reality. Its success could not have been accomplished without the creativity, dedication and hard work of the MSW Committee. Not only did the committee work together as a whole but also each member took on individual responsibilities that made the project move forward. It is hard to describe their determination and dedication to the task except to say simply “everyone did their job” and if asked, they will tell you it is the most fun and rewarding community project they have ever been involved with.
Steps Taken:
• Call to Artists
• Artists Juried and Selected
• Potential locations selected and approval given by town and private owners
• Presentations to Civic Organizations: Rotary, etc.
• Installations June-July 1
• Developed MSW webpage on GMP website and MSW Facebook page
• Kiosks with brochures placed on Main St., Mill Falls Marketplace and Town Parks
• Docent tour guide team of volunteers established to lead guided tours
If the project steps changed over time, please describe how:
Monthly meetings. More involvement with the internet.
Obstacles
What were your major obstacles for the completion of the project?
There were not really any major obstacles other than funding and getting artists to submit their work.
Who or what was instrumental in overcoming these obstacles?
Local sponsors mentioned above contributed donations. A Call to Artists over the internet proved to be a successful way to attract sculptors to submit an application to the project to be juried.
What top three suggestions would you give to others attempting a similar project?
Form a committee of dedicated, enthusiastic and knowledgeable members.
Research other sculpture walks and visit them beforehand.
Enlist all the stakeholders at the ground level.
Project Impact
How has this project strategically connected arts and cultural activities to social, economic, and cultural issues in your community? What is different in your community as a result of this project?
First would have to the "buzz" from not only from residents and visitors but also from business owners who see the sculpture walk as being "the best thing that has happened in town." The Meredith Sculpture Walk has elevated the community with everyone taking pride in it. It has created marketing/sales opportunities for foot traffic for merchants.
Why do you consider the project successful, as related to your project goals above?
It has been successful beyond our expectations. We have had such positive feedback and recently won the 2014 Chamber of Commerce Civic Pride Award. One example is a note that was received that said what a great time they had taking the sculpture walk and then stayed on in Meredith to have lunch and do some shopping.
How did you measure this success or progress?
One way was that we had to re-print our walking map brochure three times and have distributed over 11,000 brochures. Another is the positive feedback we have had from the Meredith residents and the business community.
It has also been widely covered in our local and state press.
It was awarded the 2014 Civic Pride award by the Meredith Area Chamber of Commerce.
Please describe any unexpected impacts:
The pride residents have taken in the sculpture walk.
CCX Workshop Handout