Bracket fever hits Winchester with competition for new downtown placemaking feature

What’s Your Ambition?! grant will support contest, installation of winning placemaking project

Clark Countians are taking part in a real life bracket challenge as they vote for their favorite of eight proposed placemaking projects for Downtown Winchester. It’s a partnership of the Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky (CEDIK), the University of Kentucky’s College of Design, and The Greater Clark Foundation which is awarding a What’s Your Ambition?! grant.  

Community members will “vote” on the project they want to see installed by donating items to the Rowland Arts Center for Teens (RAC). Each week, the projects with the most donations will advance to the next weekly “contest.” Voting boxes will be placed on the High Side on the north side of Main Street. The contest will take place over three weeks during March Madness. During the first week, community members are asked to donate toiletries to support the RAC 

Possible projects include:  

  • Public Art: Murals or installations 
  • Landscape: Parklets/Social Space or Seating 
  • Amenities: Public Realm Investments or a Sidewalk Canopy 
  • Pedestrian Improvements: Circulation or Wayfinding

The winning project will be located on Main Street to support the future High Side Linear Park. All of the projects support the High Side master plan. It is anticipated that the winning project will be installed prior to the Beer Cheese Festival in early June.  

“Our goal is to get people to see and experience downtown differently, said Ryan Sandwick, community designer, CEDIK and UK Department of Landscape Architecture. “This is a fun way to engage community members with tangible results while also providing donations for an organization making a big impact on area teens.” 

UK’s College of Design is partnering with CEDIK to open a storefront space in Downtown Winchester. The space will serve as visiting academic design studios and host various arts programming and support staff from the Small Business Development Center.  

The RAC, located at The Cairn provides middle and high-school aged students with a safe, positive environment of their own. It offers video games, table games, couches, and music.