Harrisonburg seeks feedback to drive future downtown public art project

downtown art projectThe City of Harrisonburg, with partners The Arts Council of the Valley and Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance, is seeking the community’s ideas and desires for a new public art project that will serve as a gateway to the city’s downtown.

The project will sit at downtown’s northern entrance, where North Main Street and Liberty Street split in the area of Merge Coffee.

The sculpture, which will be funded by federal community development block grant funds, should be a project that will stand the test of time, bring the Harrisonburg community together, and showcase the values and vision of The Friendly City.

A survey is now available online for members of the public asking for input on what themes and styles are most important for the art installation to represent. Participants are encouraged to detail what they believe is special about the Harrisonburg community, and how they feel that can be highlighted through this project.

Survey responses will be accepted through July 15.

“This project is a unique opportunity for our community to shape an initiative that will welcome visitors to our Downtown for many generations to come while showcasing what makes this such an incredible, welcoming place we all are proud to be part of,” Harrisonburg community development block grant coordinator Kristin McCombe said. “Harrisonburg already has an existing sculpture at the southern entrance to downtown, so we are eager and excited for the opportunity to bookend that work of art with another impactful gateway to the heart of our city.”

Once survey results are complete, a committee including a city council representative, city staff and partner agency representatives will begin the process of outlining what the project will include and locating an artist to complete the work.

More information is available online at www.HarrisonburgVA.gov.


Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.