The City of East Point is moving towards being a more art friendly city thanks to support from the community and the East Point City Council, stated officials. In June, the East Point City Council approved and adopted the city’s first Public Arts Master Plan, which will serve as the blueprint for the city’s Public Arts Program. Mayor Deana Holiday Ingraham said she believes this plan will complement the current progress and redevelopment occurring in the downtown area and throughout the city.
“The City of East Point is proud to begin implementation of our Public Arts Master Plan and elevate the importance of art in our community,” said Holiday Ingraham. “Our Public Arts Program will cultivate vibrancy in our downtown and neighborhoods, create gathering spaces that promote community connections through art, connect our youth to art and artists, and serve as a branding opportunity for the city to display our unique identity and enhance our gateways to the city.”
“It really makes a difference when you have internal support from all levels,” said Geneasa Elias, Special Projects Coordinator. “We had support from the community, the city manager and council to get this done. Public Art is on the forefront of everybody’s attention.”
The city embarked upon this journey to solicit consulting services in November of 2017. In March of 2018, Council approved the contract to engage The Cultural Planning Group, a California based company currently working with Fulton County, to develop the public arts master plan. Through the Public Arts Program, an Arts Commission will be established to make decisions on what art will be showcased and where it will be displayed. Art to be showcased in the city includes murals, switchbox art work, art work on new developments, sanitation trucks, manhole covers and water towers. The plan also supports the performing arts for companies such as Ballethnic Dance Company, based in East Point, to showcase their performances.
“With renovating our auditorium, Ballethnic will finally have a place in East Point where they can showcase their annual performances as opposed to renting spaces in Atlanta and Cobb County,” said Christopher Swain, East Point resident and staff liaison for the Public Arts Master Plan.
Swain, who is an art enthusiast, is instrumental in bringing the City’s first mural to fruition. In 2017, he applied for a Go Georgia Arts Grant and was awarded the grant to do a mural in the downtown area in 2018. He is working with John Christian, an artist from Hapeville, to design a mural that will be placed on the side of a popular local flower shop, The Flower Cottage on Main. The final design is expected to be complete this fall.
The City is currently working on developing an Arts Commission made up of residents, business owners and City employees. Qualified applicants will be selected and appointed by Council to serve on the commission. An announcement on the application process is expected to be made in August.