Seven education and recreation projects will get off the ground this year with funding support from the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. The grants are aimed at inspiring people to learn more about New York’s legendary canals and further explore the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. The grants range from $2,000 to $7,000 and are leveraging an additional $77,231 in private and public project support. In Wayne County, the Village of Newark was awarded $2,000 to support art in education in the Newark School District. Working in partnership with Mural Mania, students will refurbish an existing mural and create a new mural about the Erie Canal.
The Village of Newark, Newark Central School District, and Mural Mania have come together to plan a wonderful program to use this grant for creation of additional murals along the canal. The intent is to have students work in a day-camp style setting over the summer to create a museum without walls along the Village’s canal corridor.
Having painted many murals that exist already along the Erie Canal, artists from Mural Mania will mentor the students, helping with the design and painting as well as maintenance techniques. Newark art teachers will also lend their guidance. Each mural will take approximately four to seven days to complete and if maintained properly, will last approximately 30 years. Locations are yet to be finalized, but possible sites include: under the Main Street Bridge, on the northern side of the abutment for the old railway bridge across from IEC Electronics, and/or a low retaining wall on the western part of the Village’s canal path. Murals will be flanked by signage which will name the scene, date completed, sponsorship, and participants.
Students will be able to learn about history and culture by incorporating it into their art lessons about creating murals, work with professional mural artists, and experience firsthand all the facets involved in creating murals from design, to materials and painting, to maintenance and upkeep, all wrapped around the canal and its history!
Matt Cook, Superintendent of Newark Schools, said, “The Newark Central Schools could not be more excited to cooperate with the Village in the implementation of this grant. The Erie Canal is an important part of our heritage, our present, and our future. Finding new ways to teach students to honor the past, while capitalizing on this incredible resource right now, is a perfect analogy for much of what we are doing in education in 2018.”
Jonathan Taylor, Mayor of the Village of Newark, gave credit to Village Trustee Rebecca Vermeulen for applying and receiving the grant for the Village and said, “We would also like to thank the Erie Canalway for this grant.The opportunity to partner with our Schools on a project that enhances the experience of all visitors to the Canal path and continues our goal of making the path a destination is fantastic!”
“While large investments often draw the greatest attention, small projects are adding up to big results for communities and the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor as a whole,” said Bob Radliff, Executive Director of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. “We are grateful for the work of canal communities and organizations across the state for the great work they do to advance education, recreation, and preservation along this historic waterway.”
Over the past 10 years, Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor has made 69 small grants to communities and non-profit organizations that have spurred $1.67 million in additional investments in heritage preservation, recreation, and education.