Is North Lime the new Jefferson in Lexington?
The latest news out of the neighborhood comes courtesy of the National Endowment for the Arts who has announced that it will be awarding a $75,000 Our Town grant to the Blue Grass Community Foundation and the North Limestone Community Development Corporation (NoLi CDC).
The money will go toward what is being described as a “a creative placemaking project aimed at enhancing quality of life and equitable access to arts and culture.”
More specifically, the grant will help fund the North Limestone Cultural Plan. This type of plan is a first for the city of Lexington but it will build off of the city’s 2009 Central Sector Small Area Plan and the North Limestone Sustainability Plan.
Announcing the award, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray describes the North Limestone corridor as “one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Lexington.”
The aim of the project is to catalog the area’s arts and cultural assets; identify strengths and weaknesses within the community; survey possible locations for public art exhibitions; investigate community preferences for streetscapes, greenspaces, and public art programming.
The NEA Our Town grant will also support other public art projects including one with with Kentucky American Water and the S.L. Gimbel Foundation for the water retention tank on York Street.
While North Limestone CDC was awarded the grant (one of 66 organizations nationwide), the Blue Grass Community Foundation will administer the grant. Other organizations participating in the project include the North Limestone Neighborhood Association, LexArts, the University of Kentucky Department of Community Leadership and Development, the City, and the planning and design firm Lord Aeck Sargent.
In its rather short life thus far, NoLi CDC has been active organizing the popular monthly Night Markets, initiating a micro-grant project funded through a partnership with Lexington coffee roaster Magic Beans, as well as creating a North Limestone corridor vibrancy map featuring local businesses.