Thursday, April 16, 2009
First mural going up soon in Holly Springs
By BARRY BURLESON
A tourism project in the works for about a year could be visible this week for Pilgrimage.
Stephanie Movre, executive director of the Holly Springs Tourism Bureau, updated the mayor and board of aldermen on the downtown mural project during their April 7 meeting.
“The purpose of the project is to aesthetically enhance the downtown area and showcase the cultural heritage of Holly Springs,” she said. “It brings an art element to the square and boosts tourism.”
The 8-foot by 4-foot murals will be mounted on the sides of buildings surrounding the historic downtown square. She said the first one is almost ready and should go up soon on the side of the Utley Building at Memphis and Van Dorn. She showed a photo of the design to the mayor and board.
“It’s a project we can continue to grow,” Movre said.
The murals will showcase Holly Springs’ blues music heritage, grand Southern architecture, religious history and African American as well as its civil rights history. Murals will showcase things that make Holly Springs unique – like the Hummingbird Migration Celebration, Kudzu Festival and Chickasaw Indian heritage. Subjects will include, but are not limited to, Ida B. Well-Barnett, antebellum homes and churches, North Mississippi Hill Country Blues, Kate Freeman Clark, Rust College, Hiram Revels, Graceland Too, Hill Crest Cemetery, the Mississippi Central Railroad, the Civil War, the Van Dorn Raid and what brought Holly Springs much of its wealth, cotton.
“We want to reflect the history and culture of Holly Springs,” Mayor Andre’ DeBerry said.
Movre said local freelance artist Elton Collins is doing the murals.
Some aldermen said they had heard some concerns about the project.
Movre said she believes those concerns are from people who have not seen the examples of the murals.
In other business during last week’s meeting, the mayor and board of aldermen:
“We’re due to be rated again soon,” he said.
Holbrook said one need is hiring a full-time fire inspector/code enforcer.
Mayor DeBerry pointed out how going to a Class 5 would lower insurance rates and boost industry and business development.
Holbrook said the fire department has added manpower and equipment since the last inspection, which should help toward lowering the rating.
The matter of creating the new position of fire inspector was taken under advisement.
“I would like to see us plan an annual birthday celebration that would draw attention to downtown and build community pride,” DeBerry said. “Obviously if we do something this year, it would have to be scaled down.”
“Thank you for helping us accomplish this dream,” one said.
Mayor DeBerry said, “The intent of this program is to build community and give people like all of you this opportunity.”
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