Have you heard of The Rail Trail? If not, you need to be on the lookout for this amazing public park coming to our city!
Charlotte’s Rail Trail will be a 3.3-mile trail connecting neighborhoods from Sedgefield, Southside Park, Brookhill, Dilworth, Wilmore, South End and Uptown. While a walkway alongside the Lynx Blue Line already exists, some folks in Charlotte saw its potential to be so much more. This vision, paired with lots of support, means today’s walkway will be transformed into a series of gardens and public art, as well as an endless array of places to sit, eat and play. That’s where the news of the grant comes into play.
According to a press release from Charlotte Center City Partners, “the Charlotte Rail Trail is a recipient of one of 55 grants awarded by ArtPlace America (ArtPlace) for 2014. Partially funded by the Knight Foundation, the grants are awarded annually to support creative placemaking across the country. The $412,000 grant will support the development and execution of public art along the proposed trail. The Rail Trail project seeks to elevate public art as a major tactic creating an engaging ‘linear park’ that invites our community to discover new parts of our urban neighborhoods.”
The Rail Trail is also the recipient of a $20,000 grant from the Charlotte Mecklenburg Community Foundation, an affiliate of the Foundation for the Carolinas. This grant will guide implementation of both the design and installation of public art projects along the Rail Trail.
A total of five projects are proposed in the plan for the Rail Trail, some temporary and some permanent. The McColl Center for Art + Innovation and the Arts & Science Council will partner with Charlotte Center City Partners in choosing the master public artist, as well as local and national artists that will complete the projects.