Think Culture When You Think Alt. U.S. 19
Two Pinellas County agencies are launching a project today to create a “cultural corridor” along Alt. U.S. 19.
PINELLAS COUNTY – Connecting the vibrant arts and cultural destinations of north Pinellas County and creating new ones is the goal of two countywide agencies teaming up to designate Alternate U.S. 19 as a “cultural corridor.”
Forward Pinellas, the county’s land use and transportation planning agency, and Creative Pinellas, the county’s designated arts agency, launch a four-month planning project today (June 4) with a public workshop at the Tarpon Springs Heritage Museum,100 Library Lane in Tarpon Springs from 6 to 8 p.m. A cultural corridor is a geographic area that features and connects multiple arts and cultural attractions, creating a magnet for entertainment, tourism, and urban revitalization.
“When I look at Alternate U.S. 19, I see an area that has all the elements of a cultural corridor, but is lacking some of the connections to make it truly cohesive,” said Whit Blanton, executive director of Forward Pinellas. “As an agency responsible for integrating land use and transportation, we are uniquely positioned to make those connections, and Creative Pinellas is able to tap into the vision of the arts community for what this area should be.”
The goal of the project is to engage artists, cultural experts, and others in a conversation about promoting Alt. U.S. 19 as a public art and cultural asset corridor. The study area includes connections to and overlaps with the Pinellas Trail, one of the county’s premier existing cultural assets. The project effort will culminate with a corridor plan and open house unveiling event in October.
“We are very excited that artists and the cultural community have been invited to take a seat at the table this early in the planning process,” said Barbara St. Clair, executive director of Creative Pinellas. “In a world where the arts are so often an afterthought, the Cultural Corridor project and these meetings provide an early channel for artists to participate in addressing community needs.”
The Tarpon Springs workshop will be followed by three others to gain a wide range of input from the community on a vision for the corridor: June 25 at SPC Clearwater; July 16 at the Dunedin Fine Arts Center; and July 31 at the Largo Performing Arts Center. More information is available at forwardpinellas.org.
To implement the plan’s recommendations, Forward Pinellas and Creative Pinellas will seek funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Map of Alt. U.S. 19 courtesy of Forward Pinellas. Photo shows the Tarpon Springs Cultural Center.
Forward Pinellas | Creative Pinellas | Alt. U.S. 19 | Cultural Corridor | Tampabay News
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