What were the specific goals of this creative economy project? Describe the community development challenge or opportunity that your project was designed to address:
The goal of this sculpture was to provide an aesthetic community asset which will draw a “creative class” of professional workers and innovators who want to live in a creative environment; be around other creative people--which leads to the development of a “creative economy” --Creative enterprises and individuals contribute to local and regional economies, and fuel other sectors of the economy. Selling the community on public art was a major challenge, this being a small blue collar community with no "real" public art there was a long process of understanding what art is and how it can help change the way people see the community.
If the goals change over time, please describe how:
The goal really didn't change over time, the community came together to understand the value of public art. This sculpture brings people together, sparks community pride and creates a more vibrant town. This project is thoughtfully designed to enhance the downtown and through the process of having the community chose the artist it gave people the opportunity to be part of the process.
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):
The original selection committee was made up of 7 community members, artists, an architect, a librarian, Dominique Gustin; executive director of River Arts, myself; Tricia Follert, Community Development Coordinator and the head of MACC (our downtown organization).
How does this project relate to a larger community development strategy?
November 1, 2015 a thirty million dollar truck route opened in Morristown. This route completely bypasses our downtown and we started planning 5 years ago to build our downtown stronger, to make it a place people want to go to. New zoning was implemented to allow more housing on the second floor of downtown buildings, new businesses were wined and dined to locate in the downtown and in the spring of 2016 Lamoille Valley Rail Trail opening one of the first sections of a 93 mile 4 season recreation trail which runs directly through out downtown. Building owners started sprucing up some of the old building and taking pride in how the downtown looked. Morrisville is striving to become a vibrant community where people want to live, work and play and this public art is moving the town one step forward.
What projects or places, if any, inspired your approach to this creative economy project?
MACC (our downtown organization) started with some smaller projects over the last 6 years. Local artists painted banners which adorn our street poles, each year 25 Adirondack chairs are purchased and painted by local citizens (including 5 at the local high school as a graded project) to add public art and walkability to the downtown and then are auctioned off each fall as a fundraiser. Having the community involved in smaller projects began the process of introducing the community to public art.