LANSING, Mich. — The pendulum of success swung in favor of the community Thursday in downtown Charlotte. Sitting at the center of a momentous blight reduction project in what will be called “Timepiece Park,” a new interactive permanent public art piece funded by the Lansing Economic Area Partnership’s (LEAP) Public Art for Communities (PAFC) grant program along with PNC Foundation, was officially unveiled.
“At its core, community development is about creating opportunities that bring people together,” says Tim Lewis, former mayor of Charlotte. “Timepiece Park and the beautiful sculpture bring a positive change that will inspire residents and visitors to gather and enjoy a wonderful experience downtown.”
Envisioned as the source of the community’s momentum, Timepiece Park is shaping up to change the face of downtown Charlotte near city hall. CharlotteRising in partnership with the City of Charlotte, was awarded one of three $10,000 2019 LEAP Public Art for Communities grants, which acted as a catalyst for securing the additional funding sources needed to fully complete the park project.
“Through this art piece, the community can come together through a shared experience,” says Lisa Barna, CharlotteRising executive director. “Standing where once a derelict building stood, this breathtaking sculpture within the new Timepiece Park is a testament to the power of arts and culture, and I applaud our dedicated community for bringing it to life.”
“Keeping Time,” a 12-foot interactive metronome crafted by locally prominent artist Ivan Iler, reminds all that Charlotte’s momentum has been and will continue to be set in motion through the community’s commitment to keeping its beat strong -- a theme found at CharlotteRising’s core since its inception in 2016.
The 2019 LEAP PAFC grant award to CharlotteRising/City of Charlotte is the second grant Charlotte has received since the program began eight years ago. Since 2012, LEAP has invested $240,000 in growing a collection of strategically placed, permanent, public art throughout the Tri-county region, with the PNC Foundation as a strong supporter. The PNC Foundation began contributing $10,000 annually to the program each year in 2015, which helped expand the program and number of pieces funded each year.
“PNC’s ongoing support of LEAP’s public art grant program reflects our Main Street values and commitment to the communities where we conduct business,” said Timothy Salisbury, PNC regional president for mid-Michigan. “This program is an example of what can be accomplished through strong public-private partnerships.”
The Public Art for Communities grant program is designed to elevate critical areas in need of further economic development, with an aim toward enhancing community image and ultimately, to keep and attract top talent. With more than 39 individual permanent pieces funded, the PAFC program has contributed in a significant way to the region’s evolving aesthetic appeal for a broad spectrum of businesses.
“Investment from outside of the region has increased significantly over the past two years. LEAP’s Public Art for Communities Grant program is working as intended and will continue to be a great tool in increasing our competitiveness as we interact with businesses and talent from around the world,” said Dillon Rush, Tri-County development & placemaking manager.
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