project leader
Ellen H
112 Goldsboro Street E
(Historic Downtown Wilson)
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the project

Artsy Alleys is an initiative of Wilson Downtown Development Corporation which takes the arts to new locations in forgotten places. Historic Downtown Wilson's alleys link the community together, from the newly developing Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park to the cultural attractions, to the shops and restaurants, to the parking lots servicing all of those amenities. In addition to physically connecting parking to street-side sidewalks in a safe manner, these connections are opportunities to enjoy art in a focused way while offering multiple ways for pedestrians to navigate through Historic Downtown Wilson. 

Two alleys have been completed. This campaign is targeted to complete four more, transforming our downtown alleys into fun passages and destinations! We encourage you to join your neighbors and be part of this campaign to recover and activate Wilson's lost spaces. 

the steps

Tobacco Road: Painted Heritage Mural Alley

Between P.L. Woodard and Centre Brick Parking Lot. One side of the mural was just completed in early 2017 by Sallie B. Howard School for the Arts students. If funded, the mural effort will be continued on the second, 30' long wall on the other side of the alley. These students are from diverse backgrounds representing many cultures. The juried competition for the first wall gave rise to several teams and numerous fabulous illustratijons. We will follow the same successful process with more talented children from the 6-8th grades in the fall of 2017.

Golden Leaf Lane: Visual Arts and Sculpture

Between Barnes Street Lot and Tarboro on the south side. Landscaping needs major restoration, pruning and removal for safety, and new plant additions to bring forth a lush garden-like environment linking the primary Arts Council Parking lot to the major shopping and dining street in town. Extension of pathway and landscaping into the parking lot will announce this connection. With the overhead connecting steel beams between the two buildings, lighting opportunities abound. Gooseneck lighting focused on encased art displays and complimented by draped overhead 'patio' type string lights punctuated with overhead chandeliers and complimented by entrance lighting that announces the entrances will create a small park-like setting.

There and Back Again Lane: Literary Arts Mixed Media

Between Tarboro on the north side to the Pine Street Parking Lot. If contributions allow, this quieter setting will explore the Literary Arts locally, in North Carolina and globally. Potential partners include the Wilson County Library and Barton College. Elements include not only landscaping enhancements, seating, lighting and art but other items like small post mounting lending library; notable quotes; book displays and seasonal themes. Programmatic events like poetry readings and other small scale opportunities will be incorporated into the design.

Tin Pan Alley: Musical Mosaic Tile Passageway

Between Nash Street at the Courthouse to Barnes Street Parking Lot at the Wilson Arts Council. Obvious partners in this would be Barton College, Act for Youth, Wilson Arts Council, Boykin Theatre, and 1-2 sound businesses in town. This dark alley is filled with tremendous art that is decades old. The lighting, trash and lack of aenities call out for some care. In additions, the sound in this tunnel-like space is a unique aspect in our thematic journey through the arts. An audio or musical element, especially if it were interactive and engaging, would bring joy to this forlorn space.  Another unique opportunity here includes ample space for seating in this cool environment. New trash containers, dramatic overhead and rope lighting and the inclusion of outdoor seating areas would augment any sound and musical elements in this highly visible space across from the Wilson County Courthouse.

why we're doing it

Everyone does not have the ability to contribute to making an innovative culture in large scale, expensive ways. This is a great opportunity for the community to be part of a quick project with a big impact.  By filling our city with vibrant places of all sizes and settings, we draw visitors and local alike to visit downtown repeatedly. Fashioning special small places in downtown alleys and walkways will amplify other complimentary projects in our small city.


Disbursed Budget

Raised = $8,175.00

less ioby Platform Fee $35.00

less ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $237.09

Total to disburse = $7,902.91

Artist Stipends - $3,000

Materials - $1,500

Lighting (safety and decorative) - $3,000

Alley signs with the name and sponsors - $260

Lending Library and Library Post with Topper - $142.91

Original Budget

Artist Stipends - $3,000

Materials - $1,500

Lighting (safety and decorative) - $3,000

Subtotal = 7,500

ioby Platform Fee $35

ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $225

Total to raise = $7,760


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This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Anonymous
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