This LYH Community Matters

January 02, 2019

Communities that attract the most talented, highly skilled residents tend to have a strong local identity characterized by a diversity of cultural assets – and Lynchburg has deep cultural roots. Creativity fuels the City of Lynchburg, not only to delight and attract visitors, but also for those that call Lynchburg home.

In Lynchburg, Virginia, you’ll find engineers and artists huddled around coffee shop tables; teachers and musicians collaborating for better student engagement; actors and historians devising inventive ways to tell their respective stories. Under their watchful eye and creative hands, music festivals have been brought to life, murals have brightened building facades, and a spirit of collaboration has been breathed new life into our streets. On a larger scale, even civic institutions, like museums, galleries, community arts organizations and performing art institutions have a unique and rare opportunity to lead change by creative community-building.

Here are just a few ways to see our creative communities in action in Lynchburg.

Arts and Cultural District

Creative communities aren’t closed off spaces or groups, where only the poets, musicians and actors congregate. Rather, they often exist within arts and culture districts, with open, public spaces for any and every one to share their craft.

The James River Arts & Cultural District program is one such program that’s intended to attract citizens, organizations and partnerships that wish to create and execute projects to benefit the citizens of Lynchburg. The term “project” can include events, activities, capital investments, promotions, improvements, displays or pursuits that further the arts and culture of the city.

Centered in the urban core of the City, the James River Arts & Cultural District is home to many of Lynchburg’s anchor arts institutions, such as Riverviews Artspace, the Academy Center of the Arts, Amazement Square and so much more.

Creative and Cultural Industry Clusters

The City of Lynchburg has made significant investments in its downtown urban core by improving amenities, attracting anchor developments such The Virginian Hotel, and adapting and reusing former industrial space for new uses. While many cities across the country have lured software and tech businesses downtown, Lynchburg’s advertising, marketing, and design services, as well as architecture and engineering services, serve as a foundation for a unique, urban, creative workforce. Already, companies like 434 Marketing, Wiley Wilson, and CJMW Architecture are helping make the City of Lynchburg a dynamic place to live and work. We anticipate that the sector’s entrepreneurs and workers will continue to be drawn to Lynchburg’s cultural amenities, walkable downtown core, and opportunities to connect – all of which position the City as an exciting hub for creative professionals.

Mixed-Use Development

Mixed-used development is an economic development term that refers to urban planning that creates a walkable, diverse and quality public space to breathe new life into communities. Leveraging architects, muralists and and so on from the creative and cultural industry cluster, projects like the Downtown 2040 plan are able to come to fruition. The Downtown 2040 plan will help to address future growth and development of downtown Lynchburg.

Public Art

Public art is a powerful placemaking tool. All work that is displayed in public that can be enjoyed by anyone to bridge gaps between the communities fall under the public art domain. From large-scale sculptures or fountains to mosaics and murals, public art can transform public space to create civic pride.

Have you seen the murals popping up downtown? What about the Art Storm Lynchburg project? Or the Amazement Square mosaic? All of these are incredible examples of public art in action.

This is Your Community

Whether you consider yourself a “creative” or not, you have a place in this community and a unique opportunity to make this city and its story your own. How will you get involved in 2019?

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