New leadership class eyes mural project

Published 10:04 am Thursday, January 2, 2020

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Leadership Davie is back.

And members of the first class in the rejuvenated program have ideas they hope could provide more arts to downtown Mocksville.

Part of the program coordinated by the Davie Chamber of Commerce is for each class to have a project to benefit the community. The 2019-2020 class has chosen a mural they plan to have commissioned on the side of the Martin-Vanhoy building that faces Depot Street at the square.

They’ve sent a photograph of the Mocksville train depot circa 1920 to potential artists. While they’ve already started raising money, they’re not sure how much a wall mural will cost.

All seemed to like the idea of providing some public art, said Karlynn Armsworthy, class member. She said members envision an extension of downtown – a Depot District of sorts – that would focus on the arts and help revitalize that part of town.

Members have been meeting with residents and business owners on the street, and have received positive feedback, said Jessica Yarborough.

Kim Stanberry said the idea came when the group was learning about Davie County history at the public library, and saw photos of how vital the area used to be, including that photograph of folks at the train depot.

Artists were invited to give their own spin on that scene when making proposals, she said.

They’ve set a $25,000 goal for the mural, and although a GoFundMe page has been started, they know that some fund-raising leg work is in their future.

“We want it to have a cohesive feel for the community,” said Caroline Moser, executive director of the Davie Chamber of Commerce. “We want it to be a part of the community.”

It’s been some 10 years since a Leadership Davie class has been held, and Moser said it has been among her priorities to re-start the program since becoming director.

“Our community is at a turning point,” she said. “There are so many people who could benefit.”

The group started with a two-day retreat, where they could get to know each other and take part in team-building activities. Chuck Taylor was bought on board to help coordinate the efforts.

They heard a presentation about the community’s past, present and future; learned about arts and education, government relations, economic development, the criminal justice system, infranstructure and planning, human services and history and tourism.

It is the third leadership that Allison Brown has taken part in, and she said it is by far the best.

“This class is hitting it out of the ballpark in terms of what we’re learning,” she said, adding that she is impressed that members represent several generations.

The class has been rewarding for Sam Brown, who moved to Davie in 2016 and is assistant principal at William R. Davie Elementary.

“I love learning more about Davie County, especially the history,” he said. “And as a transplant, it has been nice to make some connections.Class members include Karlynn Armsworthy, Jessica Yarborough, Walter Wilson, Sam Brown, Kim Stanberry, Allison Brown, Johnny Lambert, Josh Perryman and Ashton Burton.