Downtown welcomes 'small, inspiring projects'

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BRATTLEBORO — Temporary art installations will be "popping up" downtown this weekend.

"The little competition we had, we had a really good response so it seems people are looking for these small and inspiring projects in the downtown," said Sue Fillion, town planning director. "So we're pretty excited to see them come together this weekend."

Brattleboro's Better Block Challenge is part of a downtown design project being partially funded through a municipal planning grant from the state. Three projects were selected by the Brattleboro Planning Commission to receive $500 each.

Starting Friday night and running through Sunday, residents and visitors can check out temporary installations "designed to transform spaces in downtown into active, vibrant and safer public spaces," according to a press release. Activities will take place Friday from 5 to 8 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday from 10 to 11 a.m. and 2 to 3 p.m.

An orientation booth will be set up in the Latchis Gallery at 50 Main St. Fillion said people can take a survey about public spaces downtown and learn about upcoming events regarding the design plan, such as the Places for People Charrette happening from Oct. 3 to 5.

The Brooks Memorial Library and Downtown Brattleboro Alliance are installing a pop-up "storywalk" on Main Street from the Whetstone Pathway to the library, where people can read a story station by station and participate in an art project at the library by writing down their favorite book. Business owners from 167-181 Main St. — Brattleboro Bicycle Shop, Penelope Wurr, Mitchell Giddings Fine Arts, Insight Photography, A Candle in the Night and Austin Design — are putting up art, greenery and lighting in an alley between their buildings Friday night. And the Brattleboro Coalition for Active Transportation is setting up a pop-up bike lane on Flat Street in between Elm Street and the Preston Parking Lot, with activities on Saturday to include a "bike blender" offering smoothies and "bike rodeos" to help people practice and develop their bicycling skills, from 10 to 11 a.m. and 2 to 3 p.m.

Reach staff writer Chris Mays at cmays@reformer.com, at @CMaysBR on Twitter and 802-254-2311, ext. 273.

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