Help plan the Vergennes Public Art Corridor

A $160,000 STATE grant will help the city of Vergennes finish a trail linking New Haven and Monkton roads, crossing city- and school-own lands and using a boardwalk to span wetlands, some of which are seen here looking toward school playing fields. Photo courtesy of Matt Hawes

VERGENNES — People in the Vergennes community are invited to participate in a forum for creating a master plan for a public art corridor that will link the historic downtown core with the city’s parks, Otter Creek Basin and gateway entrances.

The planning forum will take place at the Vergennes Opera House on Thursday, June 2, at 6 p.m. The gathering will provide a fun visual and interactive introduction as participants explore the possibilities for art — both permanent and temporary — and sites throughout the city. Families and children of all ages are welcome.

The city of Vergennes was recently awarded a $10,000 municipal planning grant through the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development, which provide the impetus to develop the public art corridor master plan

Proposed works of public art will support, complement and connect new and existing pedestrian infrastructure as well as increase the walkability and livability throughout the corridor. Public art aesthetically enhances the public realm, supporting the local economy and regional tourism.

“Public art will strengthen the Vergennes brand and make connections to the region’s history, ecology, people and culture,” said City Manager Ron Redmond in a press release.

Planning organizers said the process of thinking about and discussing this project will be as significant and meaningful as the product.

Plan goals are to:

  • Bring new vibrancy to public spaces throughout Vergennes.
  • Strengthen pedestrian connections throughout the historic downtown and the Route 7 gateway into Vergennes. Increase walkability in the downtown on Main Street between Park and Water streets.
  • Support brick and-mortar-retail and dining.
  • Strengthen the connection between people and place.
  • Create new opportunities for regional, local and emerging artists to participate, learn and connect with our community.
  • Increase opportunities for public-private partnerships through the development of public art pieces.
  • Celebrate Vergennes history, culture, ecology and community through the process of art and place making.

The grant is a collaboration between Vergennes Partnership and the city of Vergennes with consulting aid from the Addison County Regional Planning Commission.

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