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Celebrate Urban Birds with guided walk

Staff Report • May 23, 2013 at 3:51 PM

If you think downtown Kingsport is ready to take flight, then you’re right — in more ways than one.

At 11 a.m., Friday, May 24, Kingsport will participate in the Celebrate Urban Birds event.

The one-hour guided walk will cover six city blocks and will highlight multiple locations where birds are celebrated through art.

The walk will begin at the Downtown Kingsport Association office on West Main Street in downtown Kingsport.

Active urban bird watching will be led by Rack Cross, manager of the Kingsport Birding Trail Project and development services coordinator for the city of Kingsport.

Bonnie Macdonald, director of the city of Kingsport Office of Cultural Arts will provide commentary on the art.This event is free and open to the public, but there is a limited number of spaces. To reserve a spot, email Chasity Carter at dkafront@DowntownKingsport.org or call (423) 246-6550.

For more information, email Rack Cross at RackCross@KingsportTN.gov or call (423) 229-9492.

This Celebrate Urban Birds event is sponsored by the Downtown Kingsport Association, the city of Kingsport Office of Cultural Arts, the, the Kingsport Birding Trail and Cornell Ornithology Lab.

Celebrate Urban Birds is a citizen science project from Cornell Ornithology Lab, focused on a better understanding of the value of green spaces for birds. This project connects people of all ages and backgrounds to birds and the natural world through the arts and fun neighborhood activities.

In conjunction with this Celebrate Urban Birds event, the city of Kingsport Office of Cultural Arts is announcing a special sponsorship opportunity.

A bronze sculpture named “Birdwatchers” by Gregory Johnson has been on display downtown for the last year as part of the annual juried exhibition Sculpture Walk. The annual Sculpture Walk exhibition gets changed every year.

During the past six years the city has been fortunate to keep eight works of art for the permanent public art collection. The Office of Cultural Arts and many community members have had their eye on “Birdwatchers” all year, but the time for it to leave us has come.

The Cultural Arts office has been given special permission by the artist to hang on to it for a few extra months in hope of raising enough money to include it in its permanent public art collection.

It is now residing outside of the city planning building on Market Street. So far $9,000 has been raised to buy this sculpture, and another $9,000 is needed.

For more information on sponsorship of this or other public works of art, call the city of Kingsport Office of Cultural Arts at (423) 392-8414 or email WilliamStephanos@KingsportTN.gov

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