Mayor Coleen J. Seng today kicked off the 12th Street Arts Corridor project, which is featuring a temporary exhibit of 45 of the Tour de Lincoln bicycle sculptures. The City has worked with the Downtown Lincoln Association (DLA), the Lincoln Arts Council (LAC), property owners, arts supporters and UNL representatives to develop 12th Street from “M” to “R”as a premier arts corridor celebrating the visual and performing arts.
“The public art and outdoor performances planned for this special arts corridor will strengthen 12th Street’s reputation as an arts and entertainment destination,” said Mayor Seng. “The excitement generated by the Tour de Lincoln public art project is evidence that this community supports the arts. I want to thank the owners of the bike sculptures for putting them on display for three months in this special exhibit.”
The Tour de Lincoln bike sculptures were auctioned October 3. Businesses, organizations and individuals who purchased bikes were encouraged to display them along 12th Street before moving them to permanent locations in January 2004. A limited number of permanent bike sculpture sites along 12th Street will also be available.
Arts and entertainment attractions along 12th Street include the Lied Center, the Torn Notebook sculpture, the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, the Howell Theatre, the July Jamm celebration and the Solar Semaphore sculpture. The new entertainment complex now under construction is just west of 12th Street between “O” and “P” streets. The Friends of the Center for Great Plains Studies at 12th and “Q” are raising money for an outdoor sculpture by George Lundeen called “On the Trail of Discovery: Commemorating the Journey of Lewis and Clark, 1804-1806.”
The concept of 12th Street as an arts corridor first emerged in 1996, when DLA and the City began planning the development of the “P” Street MarketPlace to strengthen links between the Haymarket area and the downtown entertainment district. The idea resurfaced earlier this year in conjunction with the City’s rebuilding of the 12th Street streetscape, now under way. An Arts Corridor Steering Committee was appointed by Mayor Seng in June and includes representatives from a wide range of businesses, arts organizations and local foundations. The Steering Committee is chaired by Ken Hake of Security Federal, a past President of both the DLA and the LAC.