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Saturday June 12th

First Chapel Hill art forum fosters ideas for the future

Dan Cefalo, chairperson of the Chapel Hill Public Arts Commission, takes suggestions for how to improve the arts in Chapel Hill at the FRANK Gallery on Tuesday.
Buy Photos Dan Cefalo, chairperson of the Chapel Hill Public Arts Commission, takes suggestions for how to improve the arts in Chapel Hill at the FRANK Gallery on Tuesday.

The FRANK Gallery and the Chapel Hill Public Arts Commission held the first of its three public forum meetings on Tuesday. For the Chapel Hill 2020 Comprehensive Plan, the town hopes to gain public insight on the arts scene.  

Dan Cefalo, the chairperson of the Chapel Hill Public Art Commission, said he believes these events will help foster creative thinking and bring the community’s needs up front.

Go to the forums

Time: February 27, at 1:30 p.m. 

Location: Chapel Hill Library 

Time: March 14, at 5:30 

Location: Flyleaf Books 

Chapel Hill residents and other art lovers are encouraged to attend and voice their ideas for the future Chapel Hill arts scene.

“We have been working on an arts plan that goes hand in hand with the town’s 2020 plan, and our arts plan can not be complete without public input,” said Cefalo. “So we have put together three of these events to just try and see what we can get from the public’s input, and if they can help us give more information and tell us what they want to see out of our arts plan.”

The Chapel Hill Public Art Commission is currently involved in providing public art, studio arts, performing arts programs, arts festivals and other events, like the fourth of July fireworks at Kenan, in Chapel Hill.

Emily Kass, who serves on the commission as the vice chairperson, said with the commission’s growing role they have more to offer to a large audience.

“We were formed in 2002 as a 501(c)(3) just to take care of the one percent for art. We have evolved since then, and now festivals and events are a part of us. Now we are really poised for growth,” Kass said. “Everything we do reaches 70,000 people every year, and thousands more encounter public art, sculpture vision and exhibitions on a daily basis.”

The commission would like to engage and educate people of all ages by offering different cultural activities and arts in community settings, along with contributing to tourism, enriching the environment through public art and, finally, expanding facilities, marketing and funding for the arts scene.

Some ideas brought up at the forum included adding classes focusing on glass blowing, bookmaking, filmmaking, art therapy, along with suggestions to reach out to the RDU airport and WRAL to increase awareness for the Chapel Hill arts.

Chapel Hill resident Debbie Mozgala, who attended the forum, came in with a plan for a new Parks and Recreation building.

Her plan consists of a glass building with two basements and seven floors. Each floor would be dedicated to a different activity, with the top floor serving as an event space with a cafe that could be rented out. The two basements would be dedicated to art installations, and if needed could even provide emergency shelter.

“I would like this to happen in Southern Village across from the Obey Creek development. They have a large space right there that’s town property, and it would be great because the town owns parking lots right by there and those fields other there,” said Mozgala. “If this was placed there, it would really be beneficial for them during festivals.”

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