Courtesy of Natalie Williams
The rhino at Conant Metal & Light
Recognize that rhino? If you're a resident of the South End or you frequent the Pine Street corridor, chances are the answer is "yes." That sculpture protrudes from the Conant Metal & Light
building year round. Sometimes seasonal decorations, such as pumpkins, are placed on its horn.
Does the rhino make you smile?
Can you think of something else in the South End — a mural, an old strip of railway track, a reclaimed (or not) industrial building — that does?
If so, the City of Burlington wants you to share it on social media, using the hashtag #OurSouthEnd. (And if you can't think of something that makes you smile, send pics of something you think should be changed.) The social media campaign, reads a press release, is "just one of many initiatives planned for the coming months to get community input in the planning process through creative means."
The city is launching the #OurSouthEnd campaign with the aim of soliciting community feedback for its long-term planning effort, PlanBTV
. Among other goals, PlanBTV intends to create a master plan for the development of the South End Arts District.
Earlier this fall, Burlington City Arts landed a $100,000 National Endowment for the Arts grant to encourage an “artist-led information engagement and visioning process.” In a meeting on October 31 at the South End Kitchen
, artists who work in the area pressed BCA executive director Doreen Kraft to define the municipal arts organization's intentions and goals in the South End, but Kraft said that plans — including for a potential arts center — were "in very early stages." She stressed, as did consultant Susan Silberberg
, that the informational meetings were intended to engage artists who live or work in the South End to become active participants in the "creative placemaking" process.
Some public programming has already gotten underway. In late September, the city and AARP Vermont rolled out three days of "active listening workshops" on walkability and transportation in the South End, events that were hosted by ArtsRiot
. A South End Crawl is scheduled for the weekend of November 21 and 22 — details still to come. More public meetings and workshops are forthcoming, as well (a schedule of events is available on the PlanBTV
Whether or not you're able to attend the meetings,you can still weigh in through social media. Here's what to do, per the city's press release
Anyone who lives in, works in, or visits the South End in the coming months is invited to participate by:
1) Taking a picture of your favorite South End location, or of something you’d like to see changed
2) Uploading to Instagram, Twitter, Flickr, Vine, Google+ or Facebook with the tag #OurSouthEnd
3) Describe what you love about it, or how it could be better
A drawing will be held each month from November to May to give away prizes from several South End establishments.
That's right. Prizes. Start tweeting.