About a dozen murals could soon grace buildings in Fat City, part of a push to bring more foot traffic and customers to an area Jefferson Parish officials are working to develop as an urban district on the east bank of the parish.
The proposal is being overseen by Fat City Friends, a nonprofit group that picked up where the Fat City Advisory Council left off, and will be managed by the Arts Council of New Orleans.
“This will create an urban look, something that’s going to drive foot traffic, bicycles, people to go see the artwork,” said Warren Surcouf III, project manager for Fat City Friends.
The exact locations of the murals are still under discussion, though Surcouf said he’s been approached by business owners interested in having them painted on the exteriors of their buildings. He said the group had to determine first who was going to manage the project before deciding where to put the paintings.
Plans call for between 10 and 15 murals to be painted throughout the district.
The theme of the paintings is still up for discussion, though Surcouf said Fat City Friends is not looking for images, such as crawfish, that already have many artistic representations in the New Orleans area.
The project will be paid from tourism funds under the discretion of Councilwoman Cynthia Lee-Sheng, whose district includes Fat City. The total cost will be about $150,000, Surcouf said.
The Arts Council will be responsible for getting artists for the project, working with property owners and coming up with a plan to maintain the paintings.
The mural project is one of several proposals for upgrading Fat City that are now moving forward.
There are plans to improve Severn Avenue to make it more pedestrian-friendly. Surcouf said there also are talks about having a sculpture donated and placed on that corridor.
Fat City Friends and Jefferson Young Professionals are also working on plans for a festival and concert to promote the area this fall, Surcouf said.
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