The Greater Augusta Arts Council received the South Arts Cross-Sector Impact Grant, one of only 16 recipients in 2023 across a nine state region, for a crosswalk art project in east Augusta.
The grant will fund the creation of three crosswalk murals in one of Augusta’s most hazardous intersections, according to a news release. The murals will be community-created in the East Boundary and Telfair Street intersection and primarily serve the working-class residents who must cross a multi-lane street to access businesses, community centers and bus stops.
Augusta Traffic Engineering will purchase and install pedestrian activated flashing beacons on either side of East Boundary Street at Telfair Street, paint crosswalk striping for three crosswalks in the intersection, and create ADA cutouts for the sidewalks.
The community-made crosswalk murals will make the new, safe intersection a desirable and emotionally connected place to cross, the release said.
Local artist, Raymond Sturkey, will hold a series of community meetings to brainstorm how residents want to represent themselves in the crosswalk mural, which they will help paint. Ray will create the designs and guide 10 residents in painting three East Augusta story murals in the crosswalks June 5-9.
City District 1 Commissioner Jordan Johnson, Augusta’s Parks and Recreation Department and the Greater Augusta Arts Council will hold a block party June 10 to mark the murals’ completion. The process of involving the community in the brainstorming meetings, creating the artwork and the block party are designed to build excitement and community investment in the new, safe crossing in ways that infrastructure improvements alone would not, the news release said.
The project is funded, in part, by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for The Arts and Georgia Council For The Arts, with matching funds from a private Augusta donor.
The first community meeting was held January 28 at Magnolia Court Apartments. The three remaining community meetings will be held on Feb. 18 at W.S. Hornsby Middle School, March 18 at Oak Pointe (also known as Delta Manor) and April 15 at Magnolia Court Apartments.
The mural will be painted June 5-9 with the block party on East Boundary near Telfair Street on June 10.