If you live or travel along West Club Boulevard and Glendale Avenue in Durham, in just a few short months you’ll soon see new ground plane art designed to make it safer for pedestrians.
The City of Durham is one of 16 U.S. cities to receive $25,000 from Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Asphalt Art Initiative grant program, which assists small and medium-sized cities looking to use art and design to improve street safety, revitalize public spaces, and engage their communities. The grant program is designed to create vibrant, new public spaces while also building city capacity for future collaborations with artists and community groups on transportation infrastructure projects.
“We are thrilled to receive this grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies since we’re constantly seeking ways to connect and engage our neighbors through creative public art projects,” said Mayor Steve Schewel. “These grant funds will be used by our staff to not only help to calm traffic near Club Boulevard Elementary School, but will also visually bridge to the South Ellerbe Creek Trail across West Club Boulevard to create a safer place for our pedestrians in this area.”
Durham’s award will fund collaboration between the City’s Transportation Department, Cultural and Public Art Program, and the Durham Parks Foundation to improve street and pedestrian safety throughout the Club Crossing project to tie distinct elements of this corridor together: Club Boulevard Elementary, Northgate Park, Ellerbe Creek Trail, and the East Coast Greenway.
The intersection of West Club Boulevard and Glendale Avenue was selected for this project because the site has a well-documented speeding problem and it attracts many pedestrian and cyclists including students at Club Boulevard Elementary, visitors to Northgate Park, and users of the Ellerbe Creek Trail.
According to Cultural and Public Art Program Manager Rebecca Brown with the City’s General Services Department, the Club Crossing project will use creative intervention to form a fun environment for elementary school students, families, and residents to safely experience street crossing and connectivity for the Club Boulevard Elementary School, Northgate Park, and the Ellerbe Creek Trail. “The project intends to activate the intersection and travel lanes by adding artwork to the crosswalks in front of Club Boulevard Elementary, reducing speeding on West Club Boulevard, and increasing yielding to pedestrians crossing West Club Boulevard and Glendale Avenue near the school,” Brown said.
According to Brown, later this fall community members and stakeholders in this project area will be able to provide their input through a community survey as well as visit a new project website for more details. The City also plans to partner with Club Boulevard Elementary School to ensure that the artwork reflects the community’s vision. Ground plane artwork will then be painted at the intersection of West Club Boulevard and Glendale Avenue during spring 2021.
Artists interested in applying for the project should complete their registration by July 31 on the City of Durham’s Pre-Qualified Artists Registry. Candidates are eligible regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender identification, military status, sexual orientation, marital status, or physical ability. For questions or additional assistance, artists may also contact Brown at (912) 398-8075 or by email.
About the City of Durham Public Art Committee
The Public Art Committee serves as an advisory body to the Durham City Council and the City Manager, and its functions include assisting the City’s General Services Department on matters relating to public art; implementation of the Public Art Policy; and reviewing proposals for public art projects brought to it by the City administration; and making recommendations to the Durham Cultural Advisory Board regarding project approvals. To further help artists connect with opportunities, the City has also launched a Durham Calls for Artists page on its website, which lists a number of upcoming opportunities for artists in and around Durham. Artists and other stakeholders who would like to be notified of current and future art-related opportunities and news can now sign up for alerts through the Cultural and Public Arts Calls for Art mailing list. For more information about the City’s Cultural and Public Arts Program, visit the City’s cultural and public arts page.
About the City of Durham General Services Department
The General Services Department builds and maintains City properties to make Durham a great place for people to live, work, and play. Guided by the City’s Strategic Plan, the department’s core functions include the acquisition and sale of properties, design and management of new construction and renovation projects, building maintenance, landscaping and urban forestry services, cemeteries management, sustainability and energy management, and supporting the nonprofit Keep Durham Beautiful.
About the City of Durham Transportation Department
The Transportation Department remains steadfast in its commitment to providing and maintaining quality, multimodal infrastructure to improve mobility, promote environmental sustainability, and enhance the quality of life for current and future Durham residents, businesses, and visitors. To learn more, follow the department on Twitter.
About the Durham Parks Foundation
The Durham Parks Foundation exists to preserve, strengthen and expand parks, trails, open space and recreational opportunities in Durham through diverse community involvement, fundraising, partnerships and education. Founded in 2015 to facilitate public/private partnerships for the benefit of all in Durham, the foundation assists groups with fundraising, providing information about future projects in parks, and advocating for the expansion and improvement of parks, trails, and open space in Durham. For more information, follow on Facebook and Twitter.
About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in more than 570 cities and over 160 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: the Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2019, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $3.3 billion. For more information, follow on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat, and Flickr.