“The Massey Hill Heritage Discovery Project is a great example of the positive impact that the Arts Council has in our community,” says Tony Chavonne, the project’s leader and a former mayor of Fayetteville who grew up in Massey Hill. “The Arts Council pulled people together in a collaborative way to help support the arts while also telling the story of a special people and a proud history of the Massey Hill community.”
Chavonne chaired the committee which worked with artists Michael and Leah Foushee-Waller to create a public artwork that celebrates the historic textile industry in the community. The artwork is inside of a roundabout at the intersection of Cumberland and Camden roads, a few blocks from the site of the old Lakedale Mill.
The artists started WallerFoushee Studios in Hillsborough in 2003, and have since collectively created more than a dozen public art projects throughout North Carolina. They were selected from eight artists/teams who responded to an open Request for Proposals for the project.
Margo Jarvis, Research/Analysis & Special Projects Director for the Arts Council, began the process about two years ago. The Arts Council committed $20,000 in artist fees, and the Massey Hill Discovery community group raised additional donations to support the project.
On Saturday, the dedication program will begin at 5 p.m. at Carroll Memorial Baptist Church with a welcome and recognition of the advisory committee by Tony Chavonne.
Deborah Martin Mintz, Executive Director of the Arts Council, will introduce the artists. Among the other speakers is John Jones, who spearheaded the commemorative pavers in conjunction with the art project.
The Massey Hill Heritage Discovery Project steering committee includes chairman Tony Chavonne, Bruce Daws, Mamie Dees, Michael Gibson, Leisa Greathouse, Margo Jarvis, John Jones, Hilda Melton, Deborah Martin Mintz, Stella Mullen, Joe Mullen, Judy Odom, Bob Pinson, Jim Peterson, Patsy Ray, David Reid, Alex Warner, and Susan Wiggins.
In addition to the Arts Council, funding or support was provided by: Cumberland Community Foundation, Fayetteville/Cumberland Parks and Recreation, Massey Hill High School Alumni, Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex, and The Fayetteville Area Transportation and Local History Museum.
“This project was truly a labor of love for the residents of Massey Hill and those who grew up in the community,” says the Arts Council’s Deborah Martin Mintz. “We’re also grateful to the City of Fayetteville and the North Carolina Department of Transportation for providing the infrastructure and landscaping to make this a beautiful site and point of pride – and so many more who made this project possible.”
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The Arts Council’s grants, programs and services are funded in part by contributions from businesses and individuals, and through grants from the City of Fayetteville, Cumberland County and the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources.