New SBY department to expand reach of art/culture in community, push for economic development

SALISBURY, Md. – “From the Zoo, to the City Park, the Riverwalk, to Downtown, to the Marina, to Poplar Hill Mansion. Our community assets must be programmed and celebrated,” City of Salisbury Mayor Jake Day said.

Mayor Day says that’s what the new Arts, Business, and Culture (ABC) Department is all about, growing access to culture and quality of life in Salisbury through art.  “I moved here 9 years ago and started working in town and I grew up on the eastern shore. My dad grew up in Salisbury. All the time he’s driving around saying well that didn’t used to be like that,” Artist Nadine Brittingham said.

“Art has exploded in Salisbury for years now. So it’s continuing that forward momentum. It’s embracing the up incoming artists,” ABC Department Director Allen Swiger said.

Mayor Day says the push now is to move art outside the downtown limits and into many areas of city,  an effort that will take more than government action and a helping hand from the community. “Well I think what Salisbury is kind of missing is installation art, like large scale installations. Some installations that are immersive. So with lights and are interactive for people to enjoy,” Brittingham said.

Department partners also include Princess Anne Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals, Lower Eastern Shores Emerging Leaders, and the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore.

With new, creative minds on board department personnel tell me it’ll also create a sense of togetherness. “People do that. There’s all different type of people that come to this community. Different ethnicities, races, different passions and groups of people. So again it’s listening and hearing what people want,” Swiger said.

Swiger says that art isn’t just limited to what meets the eye. “You look at art as in a brewery, or a bakery, or a cook. That’s art. There’s a science behind it,” Swiger said.

“That’s going to help with businesses, that’s going to drive people. That’s going to bring everybody together to really see what Salisbury is. What makes it cool, fun and what’s going to really push us into the future.”

The department plans to take action mid April.

The department is still taking community input so if you’d like to share your ideas or find out more click here


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