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Fort Kid getting new mural
Published September 16, 2023; 12:30 p.m.

KNOXVILLE - Work is underway at Fort Kid Park to turn the concrete sidewalk and retaining walls leading to the park into an interactive mural project. The colorful mural will run along the sidewalk and ramp area constructed as part of the park’s new accessibility entrance.

The mural project and artist, Dustin Durham, were selected by the City’s Public Art Committee with grant funding from the Art and Culture Alliance. The mural will help expand the play space of the park along the sidewalk, offering an interactive game board for children and adults while they move up to the playground or down to the Knoxville Museum of Art.

“It was always our goal to include art in Fort Kid Park as a connection with the Knoxville Museum of Art,” said Mayor Indya Kincannon. “This mural is the perfect complement to link these community spaces.”

fort kid

Prompts on squares of the multicolor surface will entice players to answer questions to move up and down the “game board”. The prompts, on adhesive sidewalk clings, can be changed periodically to keep the game new and fun for frequent visitors.

“We are delighted to have Mayor Kincannon and City Council’s commitment to local artists and public art,” said Liza Zenni, Executive Director of Knoxville’s Art and Culture Alliance. “I love how this mural design expands the park’s creative opportunities for area children and their families.”

After a highly publicized community process, Fort Kid Park was reimagined, reconstructed and reopened earlier this year. Funding for the mural project comes from the American Rescue Plan Act. Those funds were allocated after Mayor Kincannon proposed, and City Council approved, a plan for the Art and Culture Alliance to administer grants to support local art and culture projects to aid in the COVID-19 recovery process. These grants help by providing jobs and education, boosting tourism, and providing community benefit.

The mural is scheduled to be completed in late fall. The artist plans to include some “Community Paint” days where the public is invited to participate in the initial painting process. Stay tuned to the City’s social media accounts for announcements about upcoming Community Paint days.