The city of Sparks was recently awarded a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and they hope residents will have a say in how to spend it. The city’s Special Event Supervisor Francine Burge sat down with our reporter, Holly Hutchings, to talk about building the city’s art programs.
Sparks is pushing a new arts agenda. City officials hope to incorporate more public art through the "placemaking" method. Placemaking is the act of putting art into the community that truly reflects the attitudes of residents, as well as the culture and history of a city.
Francine Burge, special events director, says installing pieces of public art can show what is important to the people of Sparks and can also help meet some of the city's practical needs.
"When you’re at events, the things that float to the top are, you know, we’ve got to have more bike racks. We have less parking," Burge said. "It’d be nice to have shade. We’ve got lots of great space for events, but not a lot of shade downtown. Also, benches, at an event. You get a plate of food--it would be nice to sit down and enjoy it. It can all be art! You can use art in a useful manner.”
The city has had a public arts plan for a couple of years, but officials are shining a light on that plan now.