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City and community officials want to know the answer to this question, so Southbank Partners, the community and economic development agency for Northern Kentucky’s Ohio River cities, which has raised money for the first of several murals on Newport’s floodwall, is asking the public to take a survey about public art in city.
“The survey is an opening dialogue with our residents, businesses, and visitors about what types of public art they want to see in our city, whether its future floodwall murals or other types of public art,” Newport Assistant City Manager Larisa Sims said.
“This survey will let us know what people like and what they don’t like in terms of public art, whether people want to see more public art in the city, and if so, what type of art they’d like to see in the future.”
This July, the City of Newport unveiled its first of 19 planned murals on the Ohio River floodwall along Dave Cowens Drive -- between Newport on the Levee and the City of Bellevue-- as part of the city’s celebration of its 225th anniversary.
The first mural in the series depicts and honors the students and teachers at The Southgate Street School, an historic African American school that operated in Newport from just after the Civil War until 1955, when Brown vs. Board of Education was decided and the city desegregated its schools. The second mural, currently underway, will honor the City’s founding in 1795.
The public-art project is a collaboration of the City of Newport, Southbank Partners, Artswave, the Northern Kentucky University Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement and School of the Arts, the Newport Foundation, and The Newport History Museum @ The Southgate Street School.
Southbank Partners applied for and received two grants on behalf of the city for the mural project: a $13,120 grant from the 410, a giving circle of the Horizon Community Funds, and a $7,000 grant from Artswave, the leading arts-funding organization in the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area.
Like the Covington floodwall murals, the Newport mural project is adjacent to trails that are part of Riverfront Commons, the 11.5-mile walking, hiking, and biking path that runs from Ludlow to Dayton that is Southbank Partners’ signature project.
“Public art adds tremendous value to the cultural, aesthetic, and economic vitality of our river cities and our region as a whole and it contributes to our community identity, fosters community pride, and enhances the quality of life for our residents and visitors,” said Southbank Partners president Jack Moreland.
“The online survey is a great way for people to provide us with feedback about what they want to see on future floodwall murals and what other types of public art they want to see in the city, Moreland continued. “Please share your thoughts with us through our survey so we can reflect these thoughts in future public art projects created in our community.”
Donations for the future floodwall murals can also be made by check to the Newport Foundation or through a GoFundMe page established by the foundation and the Newport History Museum @ The Southgate Street School. You can learn more about the mural project by clicking on to this informational website.