On the highest hills of Tallahassee, one thing is clear: this city has so much beauty to offer.
Tallahassee is made up of hundreds of miles of trails that lead people to adventure in their backyards and beyond. So how perfect this year’s theme is for me and the entire Knight Creative Communities Institute 2022 Catalyst class. Our task is to bring art onto public paths.
A project I wanted to be part of because this community has welcomed me and helped me thrive professionally and personally for the past 17 years. Now it’s my turn to give something back.
When you think of art on trails, we’re not talking about hanging Picassos in trees. We’re talking about adding touches of local artists to already great spaces.
That’s why Fully Booked, Tallahassee was born. A placemaking project bringing art to one of the city’s most scenic walking trails.
We are working to transform Pedrick Pond Park into a place where literacy comes alive. The pond and its 1 mile trail is adjacent to the East Branch Library on Mahan Drive.
For this project we are focusing on a large literary art installation on the library lawn. A piece for which we are asking local artists for design submissions. This is our community so it’s important that we allow our local artists to help create this iconic piece. The kind of article you pause before snapping that photo for social media, the go-to place for book clubs, and the perfect spot for library reading time.
We’re also bringing a Wander & Wonder story path that allows people to enjoy a good book as they go – a healthy walk and a good book. The beauty of our book benches will tell a story of its own while providing people with a place to rest or open a book.
The more adventurous can borrow a book and hammock from the library and stretch out in our hammock garden.
Our vision for this transformation could not materialize without the approval of the Leon County Board of Commissioners. We are grateful for their support. We also find support from organizations like Friends of the Leon County Public Library.
We believe that literacy is something that should be celebrated. Research tells us that if students don’t read at class level through third grade, their chances of lifelong success are greatly reduced. We hope this project inspires individuals from every corner of our community to get excited about a book.
Since 2007, KCCI has created projects that have helped transform communities across Tallahassee while generating nearly $1 billion in economic development.
To make this project a success it needs the support of people like you – whether it’s spreading the message, sponsoring or submitting your art concept for the iconic installation.
We hope that you will join us on this journey when Fully Booked, Tallahassee launches.
Gjergj Ndoja is Chief Financial Officer for Leadership Florida and a 2022 KCCI Community Catalyst. KCCI is accepting artist submissions through May 1st, as well as sponsorships to make the vision a reality. Details are available at KCCITallahassee.com.
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