Update from the Music Trail
The African American Heritage Music project for Lenoir Co. started approximately 8 years ago with the interview and authentic documentation of African American musicians from Lenoir Co. We never dreamed that years later this initial project would spawn numerous gigs for practicing musicians, a variety of educational programs for our K-12 students, an after school jazz mentorship program – one of its kind in North Carolina, the presentation of a myriad of international and national professional touring artists, an international touring visual arts showcase and economic development in the form of increasing patronage in area restaurants and social clubs, enhancement and entranceway projects, and public art projects.
The most tangible to date is the artist designed and fabricated canopy that shelters the bandstand at Pearson Park. This project was completed in May, 2012 by the artistic team of Hanna and Jodi Hollagnel- Jubran. Now there is more visible evidence of the extended project development with the construction work on the music park located at Spring Hill and South Queen Streets. This park is the culmination of a series of public meetings spanning three (3) years. Working with the North Carolina Arts Council, the Community Council for the Arts contracted a landscape architect and an artistic team (selected through an RFQ and RFP process with final choices made by a local committee comprised of musicians, music educators, tourism developers, and community stakeholders).
The work that is occurring now is the infrastructure work for the park – walkways, sound mounds, concrete paths, concrete benches, footings for the landmark sculpture and landscaping. This is the first phase of the project and is funded through a grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation and held by the Community Council for the Arts. Concurrently there is ongoing work in Raleigh of the fabrication of the landmark sculpture designed by artistic team David Yow and Brandon Wilson. The sculpture, paid for by a partnership grant between NC Department of Transportation and the North Carolina Arts Council will most likely be completed and ready for installation by late summer. Stay tuned for more information about the park and the local music project and trail.
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