Leesburg’s Commission on Public Art has proposed a new look for the town’s Arts & Cultural District.
On Tuesday night, Commissioner Elizabeth Ransom presented a new logo created by graphic designer Stilson Greene, which commissioners hope will bring some new energy to the district.
The district, which includes the historic downtown area and portions of Catoctin Circle, was adopted by the Town Council in 2011 to encourage arts-related businesses and organizations to locate in town. Incentives such as Business and Professional Occupation License tax rebates, real estate tax rebates and zoning permit exemptions are offered.
Ransom said the commission used the $10,000 allocated by the Town Council to the commission in the current fiscal year’s budget to fund the project, which includes the logo design and the purchase of banners and poles that will display the new image throughout the district. She said many area residents don’t even know the district exists, so the hope is that featuring its new image prominently throughout the area will raise its profile. It was a collaborative effort among the commission and other town boards and commissions, town departments and Visit Loudoun, with the county’s tourism body pledging an additional $9,500 to help promote the arts in Leesburg.
“People don’t always associate growth [of the arts] with economic growth, but it’s a proven vehicle for economic growth, tourism and more,” Ransom said, citing a figure from the National Endowment of the Arts that showed that arts contributed $17 billion to the state’s gross domestic product.
She also put in a plug for funding for the commission in the upcoming fiscal year 2021 budget to continue to promote the district and Leesburg as an arts destination.
Of the new logo, Ransom called it, “fresh, energetic, a little jazzy. It’s intended to express the vibrancy of the arts but also represent Leesburg’s historic past.” She said the commission hopes to have the logo displayed prominently throughout the district in time for April’s popular Flower & Garden Festival.
The Town Council is expected to vote to formally approve the new logo at an upcoming meeting.