Inspiration might be free, but things like paint, neon, and electricians sure aren’t. Behind much of the great art produced throughout history are patrons that made it possible. In the case of the NEON District, we all owe a debt of gratitude to the Business Consortium for Arts Support, who have been the financial force behind what will become some of your favorite public art projects in Hampton Roads.
“Public art is what makes a community unique,” said Katie Fletcher, director of NS Foundation and a donor to BCAS. “It usually represents something important, beautiful or speaks to a specific issue that reflects that specific area.”
image | neonnfk
The Business Consortium for Arts Support is a presenting sponsor of the inaugural NEON Festival, which is a fancy way of saying this wouldn’t have happened without them. They also specifically sponsored the gateway intersection project at Granby and Brambleton, the Governor’s School neon tree behind Exotic Home, and another neon project that will be installed in the near future that will act as a major beacon into the neighborhood.
This could be just the beginning.
“Our hope is that it further expands the downtown area over into the Arts district,” said Fletcher. “We hope it will add vibrant atmosphere to what once was an area that was quite run down.”
If you’ve enjoyed high quality art and culture in Hampton Roads it is almost assured that BCAS has played a role in bringing that art to life. They have one of the largest reaches of any cultural groups in the region; BCAS is one of those wind-beneath-our-wings organizations, without which we couldn’t fly.
“BCAS provides funding to arts groups in Hampton Roads to cultivate a dynamic and culturally diverse community,” said BCAS’ Bryan Campbell, who day jobs at Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP. “Our members are focused on improving lives in the Hampton Roads community through the arts and our organization is the mechanism businesses support to accomplish this goal. The arts are an integral component of community culture, which is critical to the business community and economic development efforts, and resonates with all generations in Hampton Roads.”
The mode of operation for BCAS is always collaboration. The goal is always inspiration.
“We are excited to see each of the four projects we have committed funds for over the next few months,” said Campbell. “We applaud the DNC, specifically Mary Miller and Rachel McCall, for their leadership and for bringing us the opportunity to get involved. The project at the Governors School for the Arts will be exciting to unveil next week because it represents the importance of supporting our local, talented educational institutions in their artistic endeavors.”
According to Lisa Wigginton Doud, BCAS’ delightful executive director, the group is also providing financial backing to select projects in the VIBE district in Va. Beach. Quite simply, BCAS is making Hampton Roads a more rad place to live.
“We believe in the idea of the NEON District,” said Doud, “and want to make it happen.”
See BCAS’ support live and turned up bright at the NEON Festival, this Thursday and Friday. For the full festival schedule, click here.