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WILMINGTON — Wilmington Works is a group of citizens with a mission to “build, improve and support a vital downtown that benefits the entire Wilmington community.” In May of 2019, the group was awarded an Animating Infrastructure grant by the Vermont Arts Council. This is a competitive grant program designed to help communities incorporate art into their built environment.

A team from Peak Property Service power wash and repair the retaining wall on Beaver Street, in Wilmington, Vt., on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021, before an art installation was scheduled to be installed later.

The grant is site-specific: it was awarded specifically to commission a high quality work of art for this site on Beaver Street.

In 2020, the community voted to select a sculpture from Junker Studio. Then came COVID-19. Progress slowed as the group turned its attention to more urgent community matters. But work continued, as they worked on engineering to mount the sculpture on the wall, and the artist team made changes to reflect the community suggestions.

In March of this year, they were awarded a Better Places award to fund a portion of the final phase. The program is funded and supported by the Vermont Community Foundation, Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development, Vermont Arts Council, National Life Group Foundation, Vermont Department of Health, and the Preservation Trust of Vermont. The program relies on the expertise and generous support of the Better Places Partners that include AARP Vermont, Local Motion, Vermont Agency of Transportation, and Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets.