Photo from Flickr user elipousson under Creative Commons for Attribution.
A new project to foster community connections in Station North through light and art was among 57 efforts selected nationally for the National Endowment for the Arts’ Our Town grants.
A $150,000 grant will support Signal Station North. Led by the Neighborhood Design Center, the effort aims to create a public space lighting plan for an area of the arts and entertainment district in Central Baltimore, as well as light-based art and DIY lighting projects in Station North and beyond.
“Well-lit, visually engaging spaces make people happier,” Neighborhood Design Center Executive Director Jennifer Goold said in a statement. “Working with some of Baltimore’s most talented creatives and nonprofit leaders, we know Signal Station North will support an innovative, equitable and bright future for the area.”
Neighborhood Design Center is working in partnership with MICA, the Central Baltimore Partnership, Baltimore Arts Realty Corporation and Station North Arts & Entertainment District, Inc., and is supported by Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, as well as the City of Baltimore.
The idea behind the project draws from both North Avenue’s past as a neon-lined thoroughfare, as well as more recent community gathering combining light and art such as Light City and the Creative Alliance’s Great Halloween Lantern Parade.
Documents outlining the project’s vision from the Neighborhood Design Center state that the three-year project will include developing a lighting plan for the Station North Arts and Entertainment District. It will be led by designers at Flux Studio and include a community engagement process.
The effort will also include development of prototypes for temporary light installations, with leadership from a creative team including MICA’s Jann Rosen-Querault and Baltimore-based visual artist Stephen Towns, along with local design studios Post Typography and PI.KL Studios.
To encourage participation citywide, Neighborhood Design Center will also work with Post Typography to create workshops and open source guides.
Along with adding creativity, new lighting installations can enhance public space, as well as guide pedestrian-friendly infrastructure and storefront lighting, the documents state.
“Organizations such as the Neighborhood Design Center are giving people in their community the opportunity to learn, create, and be inspired,” said Mary Anne Carter, NEA’s acting chair.-30-
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