In the City of Norcross, the phrase “A Place to Imagine” is far more than a tagline; it’s a movement. With the adoption of the Norcross Master Arts and Cultural Plan earlier this month by Mayor Craig Newton and Council members, the city now has a blueprint for the robust expansion of its public art identity, recognition of its rich history, and celebration of its cultural diversity. A labor of love for the Norcross Public Arts Commission (NPAC) for the last 14 years, Chair Bob Grossman and his fellow board members look forward to making this plan a reality. To ensure all stakeholders are represented, NPAC has issued a call for input from the public.
“This is a major step forward for NPAC and for the citizens of Norcross,” said Grossman. “For the first time in our city’s long history, we have a strategic roadmap that will enrich the lives of our citizens and key stakeholders through arts and culture. This plan helps build upon our current assets and provides recommendations for improving in those areas where there are opportunities for growth. Based upon extensive interviews and community forums, there is clearly a mandate for the city’s support of the arts. We know that such arts and cultural activities can engage all the diverse communities within our reach.”
Grossman credits in large part the Commission’s partnership with Purpose Possible – a consultancy firm with the aim of transforming communities by empowering mission-driven organizations. Acknowledging that arts and culture are essential to any thriving community, the plan taps into Norcross’s unique legacy with its historic city center and stature as one of the most diverse communities in Georgia. While NPAC queried multiple stakeholders in the development of the plan, the Commission wishes to keep the conversation going.
Grossman added, “We are already known as a city with a robust performance arts calendar between our festivals and live concert series. Focused primarily on public art like sculptures, mosaics, and murals, this forward-looking master plan will further celebrate our cultural diversity while fostering connections, enhancing the sense of a warm and welcoming environment, encouraging important dialogues, and delving into our rich history. We want to ensure that we are listening and responding appropriately to the diverse needs of our citizens.
This will be an important economic engine for the city, and we have much to accomplish. We need to procure some early wins by completing several exciting public art projects already in the works.”
Among those projects for which a call for artists has already been issued:
• Beautifying public fences around the Downtown area – NPAC has requested renderings, ideas, and themes from local artists
• Creating a gateway to Heritage Park that involves the painting of a series of stairs that lead up to the park and will serve as a whimsical identifier of the pocket park, to which the Commission plans to add public art sculptures in the future
• Crafting interactive murals on various platforms around the city – a way to engage the community and visitors by creating a backdrop for photo ops
“We have a blank canvas right now,” said Grossman. “This plan presents a wonderful opportunity to explore and examine what people would like to see and do here in Norcross from an artistic standpoint. We want to truly engage all stakeholders and encourage them to help us plant seeds for our actions in the future.”
Norcross residents wishing to share their ideas with the Commission are encouraged to email email@example.com or message through their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/norcrossarts.
Local artists are also encouraged to follow NPAC on Facebook to be apprised of projects as RFPs are issued.