Fairfax County is considering a pilot program to support more murals in its commercial revitalization areas.
If approved, the program would allocate $400,000 to complete at least two murals in the county’s Commercial Revitalization Districts (CRD) and Commercial Revitalization areas (CRA).
Richmond Highway would receive $85,000, with the rest spread out between the other CRDs and CRAs in Annandale, Bailey’s Crossroads and Seven Corners, Lake Anne, Lincolnia, McLean, Merrifield and Springfield, according to Jenee Padmore, a planner with the Department of Planning and Development’s Office of Community Revitalization.
Murals would remain on the property for at least five years, and artists would agree to repair the mural if it’s defaced or vandalized for a minimum of five years.
The program would begin with site identification and an agreement with the property owner, followed by calls for submission. The artist and committee would then work to finalize a concept to be presented to the community for input, followed by approval from the program director.
A Site and Artist Selection Committee would manage the program.
Elizabeth Hagg, deputy director of the community revitalization office, said that the program was developed at the board’s direction.
“If the board should confirm that this proposal is on target, our intention would be to come back to the board to seek funding through the economic reserve fund,” Hagg told the committee.
Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity encouraged staff to leverage students and community members to create and design the murals.
Overall, the board said they were supportive of the program. Franconia District Supervisor Rodney Lusk, for example, noted that the addition of a mural at The Boro in Tysons is a significant asset. Some developers choose to install murals without specific direction from the county.
“I’m just in awe of it every single time. And I’ve looked at it so many different times,” Lusk said.
Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik encouraged staff to consider adjusting the program timeline so that community input was prioritized earlier in the process.
“My big concern about this is the order,” she said.
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