The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA) announces it has been approved by the National Endowment for the Arts for a $10,000 Grants for Arts Projects award to support its Art in Public Spaces program. The funds will be used to add public art features to the U.S. Hwy. 98 at Inlet Beach Underpass Project that is currently under construction. The project is among 1,248 projects across America totaling $28,840,000 that were selected to receive this first round of fiscal year 2022 funding in the Grants for Arts Projects category.
In partnership with Scenic Walton, the East Corridor Improvement & Safety Project Committee, Visit South Walton, Walton County Board of County Commissioners, and the Florida Dept. of Transportation, the CAA will incorporate public art into the existing $5.6 million project that will be the first pedestrian and cyclist underpass constructed in the county. The art component will include two medium to large-sized sculptures installed next to each tunnel entrance, a public piano inspired by Luke Jerram’s “Play Me, I’m Yours” international project, and a series of murals to be created on the tunnel’s interior walls.
“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts projects like this one from the CAA that help support the community’s creative economy,” said NEA Acting Chair Ann Eilers. “The CAA in Walton County is among the arts organizations nationwide that are using the arts as a source of strength, a path to well-being, and providing access and opportunity for people to connect and find joy through the arts.”
“It is an honor to have the NEA’s support for this exemplary project that will bring engaging, interactive and thought-provoking artwork to the community while also providing a practical and safe passage across Hwy. 98,” said CAA Executive Director Jennifer Steele. “The arts are integral to finding solutions to civic issues and improving quality of life, and we know this is the first of many collaborations that will make art accessible throughout Walton County for years to come.”
In addition to NEA support, the Art in Public Spaces project will be funded through a grant from the Florida Department of State Division of Arts & Culture and other public and private sector donors. Individuals and businesses interested in supporting the project may contact Gabby Callaway at Gabby@culturalartsalliance.com.
Requests For Qualifications for the mural and sculpture commissions will be available in April 2022 at CulturalArtsAlliance.com. Artistically and conceptually, and in recognition of this underpass being the first in the area, the theme of the art installations will be “connectivity” and “relationship” - among and between humans and connection with our built environment through creativity. Interested artists may contact Courtney Malone at email@example.com.
For more information on other projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.