Summer 2016 Spark Fund Micro-Grants Recipients Announced

by YES! Weekly staff

Action Greensboro, in partnership with Downtown Greensboro Inc., is excited to announce five Spark micro-grants recipients. Spark Fund grants are aimed to support unexpected, fun and exciting projects in downtown Greensboro with an effort to create buzz and community involvement. “In year two of the Spark Grant program, we were thrilled with the quantity of innovative and creative ideas submitted. Thanks to our collaboration with Downtown Greensboro Inc., we were able to leverage our resources and fund five projects this cycle,” said Cecelia Thompson, Executive Director of Action Greensboro. “Our grantees are a reflection of the incredibly inventive spirit that embodies downtown Greensboro. We recognize that it takes hard work to pull off Spark projects and hope that the community will recognize them as gifts to the community they should enjoy.” “It is great for Downtown Greensboro to work in partnership with Action Greensboro and entrepreneurs in funding exciting projects that will enhance the center city” said Zack Matheny, President and CEO of Downtown Greensboro, Inc. Micro-grants will be made to the following projects: Greensboro Project Space & The Forge’s Art Marquee: Greensboro Project Space (GPS) and The Forge, will create a public art installation for the rooftop of the Forge building, located at 219 West Lewis Street. The art installation will be a highly visible large-scale LED marquee on the corner of Eugene Street/Gate City Boulevard intersection. Some 36,000 daily commuters will be greeted with a rotation of surprisingly uplifting, humorous and thought-provoking texts pieces as they enter downtown Greensboro. This public art installation will positively impact the landscape, connect people through art and Spark! the imagination of our city. Greensboro Moves: “Greensboro Moves” will bring dance out of the studio and into the community, inviting Greensboro residents from all walks of life to tap into their creative potential. Informed and inspired by the contributions by community participants, choreographer Danielle Kinne will construct a dance to be premiered at the NC Dance Festival in the new Van Dyke Performance Space in downtown Greensboro on November 12, 2016. Beginning in August 2016, Kinne and her dancers will engage the public at events such as downtown Greensboro’s City Market, the National Folk Festival, and First Friday festivities to gather movement material and start constructing the dance in a real-time, interactive fashion. “We are so pleased to be a recipient of a SPARK grant,” said Anne Morris, Co-Director of the Dance Project. “We believe that dance is for everyone, so we decided to bring dance out of the studio into the community, where more people can see it, learn about it, and be a part of it. Our project welcomes community members into the creative process, and invites their creative contributions that will shape the final dance. We find that dance also has a particular ability to bring people together, and that kind of relationship-building seems more crucial than ever these days. We are delighted to have this opportunity to share dance with downtown Greensboro in a fun and memorable way!”

Murals by Casey O’Connell: The Center for Visual Artists is partnering with No Blank Walls to host mural artist, Casey O’Connell, who currently resides in Leucadia, CA. Ms. O’Connell will be spending 10 days inGreensboro, painting murals on two separate buildings, which illustrate a playful narrative relating to the way people connect with each other in the digital age. Her proposed design complements the existing aesthetic of the buildings which will act as her canvas and will prove to be relatable, to the general public. “A dual mural, presented through a partnership between two local arts groups, No Blank Walls and CVA, could not be more appropriate for a grant deemed the “Spark!” Grant,” said Katie Lank, Executive Director of the Center for Visual Artists (CVA). “Art has the ability to spark ideas, interests, action, and reactions. Public Art, like murals, provides 24-7 access for these sparks to ignite.” Greenway Beautification at the IRC: Interactive Resource Center, will paint a mural on their building that faces Murrow Blvd, right on the Downtown Greenway. As a social justice agency and the physical bridge between downtown and east Greensboro, their hope is to capture Greensboro’s history and dreams for equality in the mural installation.

Revolve! A Ferris Wheel on South Elm: Elsewhere, a living museum and artist residency set in a former thrift store will stage a ferris wheel on Elm Street. The 40′ tall ferris wheel will operate for approximately 8 hours on Saturday, September 17th in celebration of Greensboro’s South End during 17 Days and Elsewhere’s grand museum re-opening. “It will be marvelous to look out from atop a giant ferris wheel on South Elm,” said George Scheer, Executive Director. “On September 17th, Elsewhere, a living museum in downtown’s South End, invites Greensboro to go round and round in celebration of all the remarkable businesses evolving in Greensboro’s South End. Save the date, and let’s Revolve!”Action Greensboro and Downtown Greensboro will be official partners in the 2017 Spark Grant Cycle. 2017 grants will be due in January and July 2017.

Source – Action Greensboro