Newspaper Archive of
The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
May 2, 2018     The Monroe County Reporter
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May 2, 2018

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Page 2C May 2, 2018 iRepOrter By Diane Glidewell opted for a new direction of field hospitals where and created its CVB. Confederate wounded Forsyth collects about were transported dur- Executive director of $30,000 per month on ing the Civil War, and Forsyth Convention & the 5 percent tax from thus the final resting Visitors Bureau Gilda 14 hotel/motels and p!ace of many soldiers Stanbery was the keynote one KOA campground, and civilians who fled speaker at the Partners making the CVB's 40 advancing armies. Trains for Smart Growth quar- percent about $12,000. were important in bring- terly community forum per month. Stanbery has ing young women and the vision for the city meeting in Jackson on worked with the fundstheir professors to Tiff with the resources avail- able. March 22. She was asked available to increaseCollege, which was cen- to address the group, Forsyth's presence in the tral to life in Forsyth for "It is important that it an organization of busi- Georgia Travel Guide over a century. Stanbery feels authentic, unique nesses and local lead- and Explore Georgia, said that Forsyth is for- and tells a story," she ers, about revitalizing state vehicles that pro- tunate to have two his- said. "Storytelling is criti- cal." a downtown area with mote the cities' attrac- toric train depots, one murals and other art. tions and bring visitors of which houses exhibits Stanbery said Forsyth Subsequent to her pre- to town. She has usedmaintained by Monroe had some bumps in get- sentation, Stanbery was websites and tools like County Historical ting its first mural in interviewed by the local Instagram to raise the Society. place even after finding a radio station, 92.1 FM, public's awareness of the Stanbery said that good theme, good stow, and her interview was city and its accommoda- murals are a good, cost a grant and an artist that aired multiple times over tions, dining and shop- effective way to create could bring the vision the following week. ping opportunities and a sense of place, andto reality. The owner of Stanbery gave the group attractions, a mural representa- the building originally a brief background of the "It is important to tive of Forsyth needed picked for the mural and Forsyth CVB, which was identify distinctive fea- to incorporate a steam submitted in the appli .a- created through legisla- tures that set us apart," engine and be welcom-tion for the grant had tion in late 2015. The she said. ing, saying, "We're glad a change of heart and city of Forsyth passed a Stanbery said that you're here!" She applied a new place had to be hotel/motel tax in 1988 Forsyth found that trains for and was awarded found quickly. The new and had. given 40 percent were an important part a matching Vibrant site did not have the vis- or the money collected of its identity. This was Communities grant from ibility of the first one, to the Forsyth-Monroe highlighted with a festi- Georgia Council for the where over 12,000 cars County Chamber of val a few years ago that Arts. She sought propos- Eass each day according Commerce to promote marked the 175th anni- als from muralists rec- to DOT, but it is across tourism in the area versary since the first ommended by Vibrant the streets from Forsyth's since then. However, passenger train connect- Arts and the Regionalhistoric depots. with tourism growing ed Forsyth with MacQn. Commission and formedWith the first mural as an economic force in Trains made Forsyth a committee to choosein place, Stanbery began Middle Georgia, Forsyth important as th'e location the one which best met looking for ways to One of my opponents Monroe his leadershi $486, 0.00 in debt to County Reporter. April 4, 2018 Again, said he supported raising your taxes! Monroe County Reporter Forum. April 30. 2018 Another opponent has served on the Macon/Bibb County Commission. He has fines for seventeen dating As your State Representative, and business experience loyal to my conservative expand thepublic art in Forsyth, including additional murals, and to promote the amenities through television, print and Internet coverage. She said that one target audience in Forsyth is the 65,000 students who go through training at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center each year. They usually finish classes by 6 p.m. each day, and Forsyth would like to keep them in town during their free time. With the Department of Corrections Headquarters in Forsyth, Stanbery learned through a conversation with the warden of the A1 Burruss Correctional Center, that inmate artists could be a resource for the city's developing art projects, including inmate welders who create three-dimen- sional art. The next project, a mixed media mural in the city park, is nearing completion. It highlights Forsyth's history as a unique manufacturer of kite string for many years. There will be a mural across a build- ing that merges with a large metal kite over the building. It is designed for photos to look as if one is flying the giant metal kite. Stanbery said that interactive art is a good draw for visitors. Another project is a bike rack designed to resem- ble a train. It will tie in with a bike path. In response to ques- tions about grants, she said there are many grants available for public art projects, like murals, but they are highly competitive. She said she has been writing grant applications for 25 years. Most grants are for matching funds, and it is best to know where those matches would come from when apply- ing. Applications should include letters of support from major stakeholders. She said the total cost of Forsyth's first mural was about $18,000 and that a mural will cost $25-$35 per square foot, depending on how detailed it is and the kind of paints used. She advised being as specific as possible about what you want when asking for concept drawings from artists while still giving them room to be creative. Stanbery suggested asking for ideas from people at the grassroots level; people who want to be part of making their community more beautiful. When asked about maintenance for a mural, Stanbery said a mural should last 10-15 years. Initially it should be maintenance free, but the Georgia sun will cause fading over the years. Forsyth has an agree- ment with the city and the business owner for maintaining the mural and h, 5 a good relation- ship with the artist for touch ups. The best surface is cement block. Wood is good but will drink paint. "Don't be cheap with paint, don't paint on metal--It's better to put panels over it," she said. The Georgia Economic Development tourism team study of Forsyth opened opportunities for various grants. So far, in addition to the mural grant, it has resulted in a grant for signage to help people know about and find places of interest around town and a grant to upgrade ]uliette Park on the Ocmulgee River. Stanbery emphasized that as well as getting attractions in place, it is equally important to get out the word about them. Putting pamphlets at the Welcome Centers on the Georgia state lines and developing good relations with the staff there pays dividends in getting travelers to stop in Middle Georgia. Take advantage of the state tourism offices tools to promote the state and have a presence on them and constantly find ways to update all media information and keep it fresh. "Give them a reason to stay and to stay longer," she said. "Start driving traffic your way." Hea|thcare. Adequaiely fund our( ensure access to local care Education graduate with the choice of going Economic Development. Provide that encourage quality growth without sacrificing current residents. - and landowners High-Speed Internet- Provide that rural Geo@ans have the same ( growth,education and telemedicine as the rest of the state Cannabis Oil - Provide safe, legal access for children with seizure disorders or veterans with PTSD HVAC Sen'ice ail brands ,Instahti0n ,Indoor r Quality ,Preventive Maintenance . 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