PCAC to offer grants for beautification efforts in Polk

Published 12:23 pm Thursday, May 26, 2022

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The Polk County Appearance Commission partners with local governments, volunteers, community groups, and art groups to collectively support efforts that keep Polk County clean, beautiful, and inviting for all. The Commission works under the authority of the Polk County Board of Commissioners as an all-volunteer body serving in an advisory role. PCAC provides guidance and leadership in matters of community design and appearance, and is currently chaired by Joe Cooper.

Members of the PCAC study the visual needs of the county, promote a public understanding of appearance issues, and implement programs to enhance the visual quality of the Polk County area. The Commission encourages community and civic leaders throughout the county to continue the traditions of tasteful landscaping, building design, and creative beautification that have always made Polk County a special place to live and visit. 

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The types of beautification improvements that the Commission is focused on across the county include public art, like outdoor murals, sculptures and other works of art – such as a Free Little Art Gallery (FLAG). 


What is a free little art gallery? Tryon Fine Arts Center (TFAC) and their board volunteer-led Exhibits Team put together a pint-sized art exhibit at 39 S. Trade Street for viewing, and swapping, pleasure. TFAC’s Executive Director, Marianne Carruth shared that TFAC’s Exhibits Team and board members, Monica Stevenson and Jessica Pierce, conceptualized the idea with an exchange of art in mind. 


“We wanted to bring this popular art movement to Tryon and support our community accessing art by both giving and taking a piece in exchange,” Monica shared. 


The gallery was constructed and installed by contractor Burney Shealey on the McFarland Law building next to the Tryon Theatre – creating the smallest place to view art – so far! 


While this project did not receive a beautification grant, we wanted to share it with Bulletin readers to get the creative juices flowing and stimulate ideas about how you can create public art in your town!


You can add public art to your town with the support of a matching grant from the Commission. Since 2016, the Appearance Commission has offered matching grant money for Public Beautification Projects across Polk County. At present, the maximum matching grant amount is $1,000 per approved project.  


Matching grants will be made available again this October to support your public art projects that meet the following criteria: the property must be used by and for the public; affect street appearance, and/or be considered a public enhancement.


Learn more and view information about past Beautification Projects and download the required 2022/23 application at https://www.beautifulfoothills.org/beautification-grants. If you have questions about beautification grants, please email beautifulfoothills@gmail.com.  


Submitted by Polk County Appearance Commission