Up & Coming Weekly

July 09, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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22 UCW JULY 10-16, 2019 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM Hope Mills News & Views EARL VAUGHAN JR., Senior Staff Writer. COMMENTS? EarlUCWS- ports@gmail.com. 910-364-6638. New group seeks to bring public art to Hope Mills by EARL VAUGHAN JR. For the last five years, Elizabeth Blevins has been exploring ways to bring art to the town of Hope Mills. After finding out she wasn't alone in her quest, Blevins put together a committee that is going to try to make this dream happen. The newly created Hope Mills Creative Arts Council held its first official meetings last month and has as its ultimate goal bringing public displays of art to the community. During her search for ways to bring art to the town, Blevins learned about the nearby town of Cameron in Moore County. Some years ago, a Cameron native moved to New York and became a prominent artist. He then returned to his hometown with some artist friends and painted numerous murals on various local buildings. The murals drew many visitors to the town, and Blevins would like to see Hope Mills try something similar. "We love art, but art with a pur- pose,'' Blevins said. One of the biggest reasons to bring art to a town like Hope Mills, she said, is research shows it can increase both commercial and private property values. In addition to increasing property values, art has an effect on citizens. "It makes them proud of their community to know we have this,'' she said. "When they are proud, they act a little better. They invest emotionally and then financially in their own community.'' A spinoff of the art group would also be to pro- mote a garden club and an appearance club that would work one-on-one with property owners to help them beautify their homes and businesses. "We want to move forward with that to create an artist's cooperative where we pair artists with local businesses,'' Blevins said. "We already have space available and can turn businesses in our community into micro-art galleries.'' Blevins said this could also lead to local perfor- mances with musicians, comedians, dancers and all manner of entertainment. "We want art to be an integral part of daily life in Hope Mills,'' she said. "We want Hope Mills to be the kind of destination people are willing to drive three hours to visit because of the art.'' Karoll McDonald, who runs her own creative marketing agency, reached out to work with Blevins when she first heard about Blevins' idea to bring public art to Hope Mills. "Whenever you do things that promote art, it creates a con- nection with the community,'' McDonald said. "Whenever people see colors, see art, it gives them a sense of belonging, that they are part of something.'' McDonald said the commit- tee has already gotten positive response from a number of businesses. "There are a couple of exciting things coming up this year for the people in Hope Mills,'' she said. Hope Mills Mayor Jackie Warner has attended meetings of the committee and is excited citizens of the town are involved in this project. "They're so inter- ested and have so many creative ideas,'' she said of the group. Warner said she has displayed local art in her private business and has sold some pieces cre- ated by local artists. "We can tap that talent to start with,'' she said. "The cultural side has not been developed like it should be. I think we need to start promoting (the fact) that we do have some talent here and some creative people here.'' Meetings For details about all meetings and activities, including location where not listed, call Town Clerk Jane Starling at 910-426-4113. • Historic Preservation Commission Wednesday, July 10, 5 p.m., Parks and Recre- ation Building • Board of Commissioners Monday, July 15, 7 p.m., Luther Board Room, Town Hall • Lake Advisory Committee Tuesday, July 16, 6 p.m., Parks and Recreation Center • Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee Monday, July 22, 6:30 p.m., Parks and Recreation Center • Appearance Commission Tuesday, July 23, 6:30 p.m., Parks and Recreation • Veterans Affairs Commission ursday, July 25, 6 p.m., Parks and Recre- ation Center Promote yourself: Email hopemills@upandcomingweekly.com. Activities • Good2Grow Farmers Market Saturday, Aug. 3, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., between Town Hall and Parks and Recreation Building. • Hope Mills Area Kiwanis Club at Sammio's, second Tuesdays at noon and fourth Tuesdays at 6 p.m. For details, call 910-237-1240. • Hope Mills Parks and Recreation Senior programs at Parks and Recreation Building. Senior programs are for those ages 55 and up who are residents of Cumberland County. Various activities, especially Zumba classes, are scheduled Monday through Sunday throughout the day. For details on times and days, check the schedule at townofhopemills.com. You can call the recreation center at 910-426-4109 or e-mail Kasey Ivey at kivey@townofhopemills.com. • Hope Mills Parks and Recreation is currently accepting registration for men's and coed adult softball for the fall 2019 season. Registration will end Aug. 3 or when all leagues are filled, and the season will begin Aug. 12. e cost is $500 per team. For additional information, call 910-308-7651. CALENDAR NEWS Some founding members of the Hope Mills Creative Arts Council, left to right: Kenjuana McCray, Beth Cooper, Dennis Brechner, Pat Edwards, Sue Moody, Elizabeth Blevins, Adam Walls, Jim Blevins, Karoll McDonald

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