Home » Town Branch Fund receives NEA grant to design stage, performance area

Town Branch Fund receives NEA grant to design stage, performance area

Town Branch Commons is a 2.5-mile multimodal path and park system that will wind through downtown Lexington, following the historic path of Town Branch creek and ultimately connect a 22-mile series of pedestrian-only paths that extend out into scenic horse country.

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Town Branch Fund announced Wednesday that it has been awarded a $45,000 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to help design the stage and performance area for Town Branch Park as well as integrate the design with the renovated convention center.

Town Branch Fund will contribute an additional $50,000.

“Both local citizens and area arts organizations will benefit greatly from the creation of a new, state-of-the-art, outdoor performance space in downtown Lexington with a capacity not currently available,” said Allison Lankford, executive director of Town Branch Fund. “Area arts organizations will be able to reach new audiences they may not have otherwise been able to reach. Community members will have the opportunity to access free cultural programming and develop a greater enjoyment and appreciation of art through exposure to artistic excellence.”

This investment will fund the work of SCAPE, a national landscape architecture firm, to design plans for the stage and performance area that will meet the needs of area arts organizations. The grant will allow the design team to work together with local arts groups and collectively draw up plans with direct input from the community.

“SCAPE understands how the arts can foster the activation of public space and is committed to using science and sociology in their design to reconnect people and places,” Lankford said.

“This effort not only has a significant visual impact on the park, it is an important step as we continue to advance the park’s overall programming plans and examine issues related to revenue generation. In turn, those revenues can be reinvested in the park to maintain the highest standards of park operations, programming and maintenance.”

In addition, Biederman Redevelopment Ventures will use the design to create a comprehensive strategy for active and interactive programming that brings life to the space and invites everyday users to visit and stay longer.

“The arts enhance our communities and our lives, and we look forward to seeing these projects take place throughout the country, giving Americans opportunities to learn, to create, to heal and to celebrate,” said Mary Anne Carter, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.

This is the second NEA grant awarded for the park in less than a year. In May, LexArts and Town Branch Fund announced an NEA Our Town grant of $100,000 for a project called InterACT in Town Branch Park — Arts, Culture & Technology. It will commission artists and designers to reinterpret the history and ecology of Town Branch through interactive art geared toward youth.

For more information on Town Branch Park, visit https://www.townbranchpark.org/.