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History and Culture Trail

Call for Public Art

In partnership with the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency, COCA sought public art proposals that celebrate the rich history and culture of the areas surrounding the Capital Cascades Trail and FAMU Way Extension projects.

COCA appreciates the opportunity to work with Blueprint on this project, bringing new art and artists to Tallahassee. COCA partnerships with the City of Tallahassee and Leon County expand the accessibility of art in our community, for our residents and visitors.

The Capital Cascades Trail project is designed to provide a multi-faceted, multi-use stormwater and recreation facility and connected trail network. It is separated into physically distinct segments stretching across 4.25 miles of downtown Tallahassee. One of the planned amenities of the Capital Cascades Trail project’s Segment 3 is the History and Culture Trail project which will focus on honoring stories of adjacent resilient neighborhoods, civil-rights advocates and economic engines.

It will highlight the culture of these communities and their stories through artistic cultural and historical interpretations. Interpretive history kiosks will display images, photographs and historic information about the neighborhoods, businesses and people living and working in the area surrounding the Capital Cascades Trail Segment 3 and FAMU Way projects. Through a partnership with the Council on Culture & Arts (COCA), public art installations are planned to complement the educational kiosks.

The Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency has been at the helm of the community’s most pressing infrastructure needs, based on a concept of holistic infrastructure planning and community redevelopment. Using sales tax dollars, Blueprint builds community envisioned infrastructure including multi-use corridors, park-like regional stormwater facilities for water-quality protection, alternative transportation, passive recreation and wildlife-habitat preservation.

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Selected Artists and Projects

Yasaman Mehrsa, “We Are All One” Murals


Alisha Lewis, “FAMU Woman Activist” Sculpture


Joseph Cowdrey, “A Stroll Down Seaboard Street” Mural


Julia Sinelnikova, “Dream Waves” Sculptures


Mark Dickson, “In Honor of the Worker” Sculpture


John Birch, Artisan Wood Sculptures


Bradley Cooley, Jr., “The Jazz Man” Sculpture


The Council on Culture & Arts (COCA) accepted proposals for unique public artworks to be located along the History and Culture Trail. In partnership with the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency, COCA presents this opportunity to share and celebrate the rich history and culture of the neighborhoods, businesses, and people living in the areas surrounding the Capital Cascades Trail and FAMU Way Extension projects.

Eligible artists were invited to submit application materials, including biographical details and/or an artist statement, up to 3 images of previous, successful public artworks, up to 15 images/drawings of proposed artwork (images of a maquette of a proposed work are acceptable), including any renderings or plans needed to adequately explain the proposed artwork. (See application for details.)

COCA reviewed all submissions for basic eligibility and adherence to prospectus. 

A panel reviewed eligible artworks. The review panel was composed of public leaders and citizens including Blueprint staff members, working committee members, and those with knowledge of public outdoor art. 

The review panel forwarded their recommendations to the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency Board, comprised of the City and County Commissions who had final approval of the artwork selections.

Artwork was chosen for artistic merit, design, craftsmanship, safety, and compatibility with the environment. Special consideration was given to artists of color. Special consideration will be given to artists who reside in Tallahassee and/or the Big Bend Region (within a 100 mile radius of Tallahassee)

The proposed artworks:

• Highlight the history of the Tallahassee African-American community who has historically called the Project area home, as well as the significant history of FAMU and the local civil rights movement. 

• Improve civic engagement, enhance civil discourse, and encourage thoughtful and meaningful dialogue among people regarding the story of the surrounding communities

• Enhance the tolerance, diversity, and understanding of our communal history

• Add cultural value by communicating Tallahassee’s unique identity, social value by engaging opportunities for interaction and self-reflection

COCA managed the submission and selection process and convened a selection panel of public leaders and citizens who selected artworks for installation. The artists implementing those selected designs were paid a stipend.