City officials announced plans Friday to create a new streetscape project along Fifth Avenue between Church Street and Union Street in downtown Nashville.
The street redesign, known as Avenue of the Arts, will create a "distinguishable visual arts district" for the city.
This section of Fifth Avenue already includes 19 art galleries, and new features will include an overhead lighting canopy, improved sidewalks and places for outdoor dining and public art.
"This symbolized another little spurt of growth in the arts, although it's a big spurt," said Anne Brown, owner of the downtown art gallery The Arts Company.
Mayor Karl Dean helped lead a gallery walk Friday along Fifth Avenue that featured gallery tours and giveaways of free passes to the Frist Center for the Visual Arts.
"Although Nashville has a worldwide reputation for music, there is an abundance of talented, creative people here contributing to the visual arts," Dean said. "This block is already one of the most important creative districts in the city. Creating an Avenue of the Arts will make dining outdoors and strolling the art galleries an even more vibrant and enjoyable experience."
"I think it will be a great opportunity for people to be able to come out here, sit down, have a glass of wine and just enjoy the city and relax," said resident Sharon Lesko.
Work will begin in the coming weeks, and the project is expected to be completed in late summer 2013 as the city's first central visual arts district.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 8:39 PM EDT2013-05-22 00:39:52 GMT
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