The Jenkins Room upstairs at the Community Council for the Arts was filled nearly to capacity Tuesday night at the second community meeting for the SmART Vision Plan, a broad schematic to enhance connectivity between the Kinston Music Park, the Avenue of the Arts and Granger Stadium through art.
The project is a partnership between the SmART Kinston City Project Foundation, the N.C. Arts Council, the N.C. African American Heritage Commission and the Kinston Arts Council.
Artist Vicki Scuri of Seattle, Wa. presented her book of ideas for downtown Kinston, which included word clouds and color wheels based on input from her public input session in January.
Scuri said results from her surveys showed residents found the Queen Street connections “indistinct” and suggested ways to create pause points along the road, which is scheduled to be paved in March 2018.
Besides street enhancements, Scuri’s plan call for storefront window displays to be installed at vacant properties along what was once “The Magic Mile” as both wayfinding for tourists and advertising for the property owners looking to lease or sell.
The N.C. Arts Council selected photos from the book, African-American Music trails of North Carolina, which will become window graphics along Queen Street from Springhill Street at the Kinston Music Park to the Arts Center.
The N.C. Arts Council also announced plans to repair the water-damaged landmark at the Kinston Music Park, the trailhead of the N.C. African-American Music Trail and to install shade-giving structures to protect concert-goers from the sun. The mural across Springhill Street will also be replaced with a new graphic that borrows from the Music Park’s color pallette.
During the question and answer session, attendees were vocal about their issues with the plan, specifically about how the long-term vision didn’t include the neighborhoods east of Queen Street.
Below is a video of Vicki Scuri’s presentation. Once finalized, the final version of the book will be presented to the Kinston City Council.