Vacant to Vibrant project gets initial funding

From Delaware Public Media  WMPH 91.7 Wilmington | Delaware’s Source for NPR News

Wilmington’s Creative District is getting a financial boost through a new $75,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Wilmington Renaissance Corporation (WRC) oversees the development of the Creative District.

Managing Director Dr. Carrie Gray said the grant will fund the planning of a project called Vacant to Vibrant. Her team plans to turn two vacant lots and two under used alleyways into artistic spaces.

The WRC’s Managing Director Dr. Carrie Gray says those alleys and lots are blank canvases and her team is still deciding on how to fill them.

“We’re expecting everything from a very serene, tranquil park-like setting to food truck rallies or arts and crafts festivals happen on that space or any kind of special event use that might be possible,” said Gray.

Gray adds the spirit behind the Creative District has always been creating spaces for gatherings and building an overall sense of community, and so before they start planning anything, WRC needs to involve the community.

“That will be part of the process, determining with the residents in the neighborhood and with artists and creatives in the creative district, on how they would like these lots to be used and function,” Gray said.

The spaces could be anything from quiet parks to spaces for local food trucks to gather, she said.

The WRC will likely have to apply for more grants to construct the projects. The planning and design deadline is winter of 2017.

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