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See More Grantees Like This One

Henderson, NC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public art installations

Description: The Flint Hill Kittrell Vance Community Development Corporation hoped to help foster economic development in Henderson's Flint Hill neighborhood, a low-income community. To create a sense of place there, the CDC created the Henderson Art Walk. First, volunteers worked to install murals and crosswalk art reflecting the area's history and culture. Local youth also took part in an oral history project, recording stories from their elders. A local website hosts an archive of the stories, along with photos of local public art installations. Then the CDC launched its walking tour, which highlights local Black history and culture. The walk leads visitors past local galleries and museums, as well as murals and crosswalk art. One mural honors Ben E. King, a Henderson native best known for writing and performing the song Stand by Me. The success of this placemaking project has inspired similar efforts in nearby communities and has spurred the CDC to create more public art.

Matthews, NC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Public art installations

Description: The project will install a mural along a local pedestrian and bike trail to commemorate the Crestdale community, the oldest Black community in North Carolina, as well as LED lighting, ADA-compliant benches and signs.

Charlotte, NC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public art installations

Description: Charlotte's Little Sugar Creek Greenway is a popular place for pedestrians, but the path through the Parkwood underpass tunnel was dark and uninviting. Working with local partners, Brand the Moth gave the tunnel new life. The organization commissioned two local artists to design a mural, which volunteers helped install during a community paint day. The new artwork represents Charlotte's people, communities and nature. Residents and visitors can now take a walking tour through the mural. Project organizers say they hope the public art project attracts more people to use the greenway.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Grantees

Asheville, NC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: After Buncombe County Recreation Services installed new instruments in Charles D. Owen Park -- including lily pad cymbals, a tenor tree, tuned drums and flower gongs -- park attendance increased nearly 20 percent in one year. The instruments, created by the Freenotes Harmony Park company, don't include sharps or flats and are designed to be played using arm and hand muscles rather than fingers. That way, people of all musical abilities can play them without training. More than 400 people also participated in three workshops focused on designing artistic tiles for the new space with themes of compassion, peace and diversity. The creation of the Real Possibilities musical garden sparked new projects, including the park's first TRACK Trail (self-guided, family-friendly outdoor adventures with prizes), enhanced sports courts and bird nest boxes that allow researchers to study tree swallows.

Brevard, NC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: This project equipped Brevard's new community garden with raised beds. Additionally, volunteers installed benches in the garden, as well as in the nearby skate park and along the Estatoe Trail.

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