Freedom Cornerstone

Artist Selection Process for the Freedom Cornerstone

This fourth and final Cornerstone commission will be known as the Freedom Cornerstone. The theme of “Freedom” was inspired by the City’s role in the Civil Rights Movement, especially the non-violent protests of the pivotal 1960 Greensboro lunch-counter sit-ins that served as a catalyst to the larger movement. Racial justice and equity have played an important role in shaping our city and defining its identity. The selected artist will be asked to explore this history in depth as they conceive of a vision for the artwork. The site for this Cornerstone is located at the northeast corner of the intersection of North Murrow Blvd and East Gate City Boulevard, Greensboro, NC 27401, a highly visible location situated on a main east/west corridor leading into Greensboro’s city center.

In addition to the artwork, the Artist will be responsible for the design of the entire site and overseeing its installation, including landscape features, lighting, and walkways and/or paths.

Standard site furnishings including trash receptacles, a drinking fountain, and benches, should be included in the overall plan design, but have already been selected, and will be expensed as part of a separate budget. Additionally, an artist-designed bicycle rack, also funded separately, should be included in the site plan design, and may be designed, fabricated and installed by the selected Artist if desired.

The Artist and representatives from their Team will be required to oversee community engagement and public input. This includes conceptualizing the format of, leading, and attending at least two community meetings held to gather public input and comments. Downtown Greenway planners will assist with the coordination and publicizing of these community meetings. The Artist will use input gathered from these meetings to inform the design of the Cornerstone and surrounding site.

This section of the Downtown Greenway serves as an important connector to an extensive network of Greensboro Parks and Recreation greenways and facilities and downtown Greensboro venues—both historic and new. Among them are the North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University campus (established in 1890 to serve the state’s black youth), the Union Square Campus (opened in 2016 as an innovative nursing instruction center), Studio 503 (a workspace and venue for artists and other creatives), “Downtown East” (a planned multi-million dollar multi-use development by the United House of Prayer for All People), downtown Greensboro’s important South Elm retail district (home to several entrepreneurial small businesses, the Forge maker space, numerous restaurants, and the elsewhere artist collaborative), and the International Civil Rights Museum.

The Cornerstone itself shall be designed within the following directive: visibility from passing traffic, both pedestrian and vehicular, is desired, so scale and impact is important to us. We will ask the selected artist to conceive of a design that will address this requirement. Join us to meet the 4 finalists for the Freedom Cornerstone; see flyer below for dates.  

Approximate timeline for selection and fabrication:

Artist Visits:  October -November 2019

Finalist Selection:  November 17, 2019

Visit for Public Input:  November-January 2019

Final Proposal due:  January 30, 2020

Design Review/Revisions:  February 2020

Fabrication: March-August 2020

Installation: September-October 2020

Please contact Barbara Peck at with any questions.