Santa Clarita Mayor Marsha McLean, right, joins poet Valerie Swanson as her sidewalk poem is unveiled during the Sidewalk Poetry Project ceremony held at Mountainview Park in Santa Clarita on Thursday, September 19, 2019. | Photo: Dan Watson/The Signal.
Residents can now walk down Santa Clarita sidewalks and find poetic inspirations laid out in front of them, literally, thanks to the city’s Sidewalk Poetry project.
Across six streets, including on Seco Canyon Road, Westinghouse Place and Soledad Canyon Road, nine poems have been stamped into cement on sidewalks as part of the 2019 Sidewalk Poetry Project — the city’s largest public art project, according to Mayor Marsha McLean.
“This project is so special because it combines the city’s commitment to the arts with its maintenance and beautification efforts,” she said Thursday during a dedication ceremony held on Seco Canyon Road near Mountainview Park. “We have found a creative way to incorporate inspiring into the everyday medium that is our city sidewalks.”
Sidewalk Poetry, which was identified as a 2018 public art project, is part of the Public Works Department’s sidewalk rehabilitation program, in which sidewalks that are deemed unsafe will be fixed and a poem will be added during the process.
Santa Clarita Mayor Marsha McLean, left, joins poet Abi Wurdeman as her poem is unveiled during the Sidewalk Poetry Project unveiling ceremony held at Mountainview Park in Santa Clarita on Thursday, September 19, 2019. | Photo: Dan Watson/The Signal.
A total of 281 submissions for the poetry contest, which had a theme of “Poetry of Place — let the Santa Clarita landscape and the built environment be your inspiration,” were received, and nine made the cut, according to McLean.
Other locations where residents can locate poems are at 20755 Centre Pointe Parkway and 27051 Robert C. Lee Parkway.
“It is incredibly important to support public art in Santa Clarita because it has the ability to inspire and share a new perspective,” said McLean.
To add to the celebration, some of the finalists read their poems, including resident Valerie Swanson, whose poem, titled “Thousands of Leaves,” is located on 28382 Seco Canyon Road.
Those interested in participating in next year’s Sidewalk Poetry project can visit santaclaritaarts.com.
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