At Monday’s City Council meeting, a possible arts district name “The Emerald City Art District” along with a proposed new sign for the City of Greenville were discussed.
Holly Garriott, executive director of Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge gave a presentation at Monday’s City Council meeting about a possible art district being created in Greenville.
The arts district would need more programming to bring people to the area, Garriott said. The city currently has programs such as First Friday Artwalk and Sundays in the Park, she said.
Garriott recommended the city reestablishes the international festival which many community members have told Garriott they wanted to be brought back. She said the festival showed the diversity of the city.
If Greenville has an arts district, the city will need to be able to bring in a big-name, recognized artist, Garriott said. Currently, the Town Common Amphitheatre is the largest performing space, but it doesn’t have a green room or the infrastructure for sound and lights, she said. Five Points Plaza is the second biggest space used in Greenville, Garriott said.
“It is our central plaza and it is still a parking lot and it’s okay that it remains a parking lot but we need to make it function better. Right now, it’s dividing two of our main business districts and we need to figure out how we can connect it and also make it a space that’s inviting during the day,” Garriott said.
Currently there are six sculptures on the greenway between Avery Street and River Drive. Two of the sculptures are part of the down east sculpture exhibition, an annual rotating exhibition. Three sculptures have been designated by school of art Alumni.
The city has talked about how having a sculpture zoo of Jonathan Bowling’s work would create a destination in Greenville, Garriott said. There are currently sculptures on the greenway which would be extended with a possible sculpture zoo next to the dog park which would connect the greenway and the dog park, she said.
In an interview with The East Carolinian, Garriott said the cost to visit Greenville for a culture event will hopefully increase from $25.19 per person, based on a study from Americans for the Arts, to the national average which is around $31 per person.
Kevin Mulligan, the Public Works Director of the City of Greenville, and Steve Kouroupas, the owner of FASTSIGNS of Greenville, had a follow-up presentation at the City Council meeting about a new sign for the City of Greenville. Mulligan gave his first presentation on the sign in March.
The current sign is located at the intersection of Stantonsburg Road and Allen Road, which is planned to be expanded out to where the current sign sits. Mulligan said he believes the sign is undersized and too deep into the city to serve as a proper welcome sign.
There are currently two possible locations for the sign, one to the west of the 264 interchange, and the other being to the east of the 264 interchange next to an offramp. The latter choice is currently the preferred one by the City Council.
The new sign has no concrete plans as of right now, but there are currently renders of it that show it being 32 feet long and 10 feet tall. The letters would light up to give visitors a sense of when they were entering Greenville.
The City Council hopes that a new sign will be the “first impression that you are entering Greenville… and a clear, clean looking sign with the letters of Greenville being the most prominent part of that.”
In an interview with The East Carolinian, Mulligan said that there is currently no time frame for the building of the sign, due to city ordinances around branding.
“I think that there is the momentum to go ahead with this, I just don’t know the schedule for it right now,” Mulligan said.
Mulligan said FASTSIGNS is the company that has been helping the city conceptualize and render the new sign, but it is undetermined as of yet if they will be the company that is responsible for building the new sign.
The current approximation for the cost of the new sign is between $100,000 and $150,000, according to Mulligan.