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Grant to help fund history mural in J.F. Gregory Park
A mural highlighting Richmond Hill’s history with Henry Ford will be installed in J.F. Gregory Park. Photo provided.

The City of Richmond Hill’s Downtown Development Authority said it has received a Vibrant Communities Grant from the Georgia Council for the Arts to support a mural of J.F. Gregory and Henry Ford in downtown’s J.F. Gregory Park.

“The Downtown Development Authority’s partnership with the Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA) allows us to tell the story of the namesake of Richmond Hill’s J.F. Gregory Park in an artistic and interesting way," said Becky Myers, Special Projects Manager for the City of Richmond Hill.

"We hope to engage people through art to tell the Richmond Hill story. We also appreciate the incredible talent of Chris Walker of C.N. Walker Designs, LLC who is completing the mural for us,”  Myers added.

The Downtown Development Authority has created a work plan to ensure that the central business district has a distinctive sense of place and to remind visitors about what makes Richmond Hill unique. This work plan includes a series of murals placed around downtown in strategic locations that will be easily viewed and beautify areas with public art. These murals will reflect the unique history of Richmond Hill, including snapshots of the Ford Era, that still heavily influences the city today.

“We are proud to once again be able to award the Vibrant Communities Grant to 78 entities in 52 counties across the state,” said Georgia Council for the Arts Executive Director Karen Paty. “This grant program seeks to advance art projects that support non-profit organizations, government entities, colleges/universities, libraries and schools in their efforts to present cultural opportunities and arts experiences in their communities.”

GCA received 100 applications from libraries, schools, arts centers, cities, historical societies, community theatres, Boys & Girls Clubs and more.

Following the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) precedent, the GCA used Peer Review Panels to adjudicate applications. These panels included fellow professionals who are experienced in the arts discipline or type of grant being reviewed; or are Georgia citizens with a record of involvement in arts activities, experience, and knowledge.

The GCA is a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development whose mission is to cultivate the growth of vibrant, thriving Georgia communities through the arts.  

The Downtown Development Authority of Richmond Hill, Georgia was created by the Richmond Hill City Council in December of 2015 to revitalize and redevelop the central business district of the city. The DDA board consists of seven members appointed by City Council to focus on the issues that the downtown district faces. These members are comprised of local business leaders and involved members of the community who are dedicated to creating a vibrant downtown in a fast-growing small community.

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