Public Invited to Wellspring on Main's First Project, a Gallery Stroll Oct. 27
By Office of Communication
Posted on October 24, 2022, October 24, 2022

From 5:30 to 7:30 pm on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022, participants in the “Gathering at the Wellspring, Envisioning the Future of Arlington” will view design projects in a gallery stroll along West Main Street in Downtown Arlington.

With its first project Wellspring on Main bridges one historic gap – that between town and gown – in partnering with the University of Texas at Arlington.

From 5:30 to 7:30 pm on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022, participants in the “Gathering at the Wellspring, Envisioning the Future of Arlington” will view design projects in a gallery stroll along West Main Street in Downtown Arlington. The projects, created by UTA Architecture graduate students, present innovative design interventions to improve environmental, social and health for residents to help create Arlington's healthy and vibrant future. The students will present their work in visual poster style and creative video narrative, showing how we can transform spaces in Arlington.

The students are part of UTA’s Design Studio "P R O S P E C T U S", which centers on understanding ways to create more suitable, equitable, and durable cities for our urban infrastructure systems. One of the goals “is finding ways in which we can directly impact our community and engage our students as they reimagine these spaces. The City of Arlington undergoes numerous growth transformations every year and continues to reflect all the varying cultures. This comes with adapting to the need for space, housing, resources, and basic human necessities. How cities adapt to changing climate conditions and growing populations will impact their longevity.”

Details on the Gallery Stroll

This Gallery Stroll is a collaboration among Wellspring, UTA School of Architecture, College of Architecture, Planning, and Public Affairs (CAPPA); and Arlington Independent School District’s Dan Dipert Career and Technical Center.

 UTA CAPPA Ralph Hawkins Visiting Professor Ursula Emery-McClure and 14 architecture graduate students will showcase studio design projects in four sites along West Main Street. Students will engage in casual discussion with event participants, answering questions regarding their research, and their mounted images and videos that address issues and innovative possibilities for Arlington’s future

 AISD Dan Dipert architect and graphic design teachers and their students have worked in teams in their classrooms to design marketing plans and materials as well as provide technical assistance at event hosting sites.

 The Gallery Walk will begin at the newly remodeled Theatre Arlington, 305 West Main Street, for light appetizers and drinks. Participants will then stroll along West Main Street to visit three additional hosting sites where they will meet and engage with students displaying their projects at Arlington Museum of Art, Create Arlington, and Theatre Arlington Administration Building. Each location will be themed and feature projects centered on Issues that face contemporary cities.

Looking Ahead

 Plans already are being discussed for future projects by Wellspring on Main with other partners. These opportunities for community conversation are unlimited.

 In the meantime, construction has begun for a new landmark in the center of town- a 40-foot-tall clock tower and fountain with seating areas. People of Arlington are still thirsty for conversation and they’re Gathering at the Wellspring.

About Wellspring and the ACCE

 In June of 2020, the Arlington City Council created the citizen-led Unity Council whose charge was to:

  •  Gather community input on the need to use equitable measures to build greater equality,
  •  Study equity strategies that the City could implement to promote and encourage greater equality,
  •  Report findings and recommendations to the City Council, and
  •  Create an equity plan which includes strategies to eliminate racism and other forms of discrimination and to advance unity in Arlington.

In March of 2021, the National League of Cities named the City of Arlington as a winner of its 2021 Cultural Diversity Awards for the work of the Unity Council. Arlington was awarded the top prize in the 200,001-500,000 population category.

The City Council established the Unity Council as a standing, nine-member committee which aligns with the diversity of the city. The Unity Council’s work served as a catalyzing impetus for the creation of Wellspring (the Arlington Center for Community Engagement (ACCE)), a new non-profit organization in downtown whose core function is to build relationships which promote civility and trust that can sustain a healthy, vibrant, and equitable Arlington.

Wellspring on Main engaged with the Brookings Institute, the Project for Public Spaces, and other such organizations to expand the scope of their thinking.

Utilizing the expert resources of the Urban Land Institute, The Brookings Institution, and Project for Public Space, Wellspring on Main will redevelop a premier downtown property (Arlington Museum of Art) into a physical space that is permeable to passersby and fosters a flow of this very diverse community of people into the space for activities and gatherings that feed the mind, body, and spirit to foster community health.

 Developed and designed in partnership with the City, the building, named Wellspring on Main, will be a keystone facility rounding out a downtown plaza bordered by City Hall, the Library, the Levitt Concert Pavilion, and class A apartments. Just as water wells have served as a common gathering place for millennia to bring health to the community, Wellspring on Main (located across the street from the City’s mineral well monument) will both host the initiatives of the Arlington Center for Community Engagement (ACCE),as well as house other nonprofits.

 Wellspring on Main will be a place where a variety of people cross paths and get to know one another in order to build respect for the dignity of every human being. By providing lower-cost workspace for community-building non-profit organizations, gathering spaces for small to medium sized groups and the arts, as well as activities addressing justice, poverty and cross-cultural discord, Wellspring facilitates health and well-being for all. ACCE intends to have a measurable impact on the physical, emotional, racial, and spiritual health of the community.

 Wellspring’s name comes straight out of Arlington’s history. In the late 1890s, a mineral well at the center of town provided a place for the people of Arlington to gather to engage in conversation about the weather, about cotton crops and cattle, about the kids – community problem sharing and solving. That well was removed in 1951, but Wellspring on Main will carry on its legacy.

 Wellspring’s premise is that these community conversations and problem-solving talks among neighbors are key to building healthy relationships which promote civility and trust that will sustain a healthy, vibrant, and equitable Arlington, one of the most diverse cities in the nation.

Downtown Arlington, City Council District 5, Arlington ISD, UTA
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