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Alas, poetry in doubt: Moorhead votes to delay 'sidewalk art' project

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A project that would have seen nearly a hundred slabs of sidewalk in downtown Moorhead inscribed with poetry and art is officially on hold.

Despite early enthusiasm and support for the “Moorhead Sidewalk Art Contest” from several of the city's leaders, the City Council voted to delay the program, according to the Forum.

It comes down to money – the Council apparently isn't ready to use taxpayer dollars to fund the entirety of the $14,000 project.

One council member told KFGO that there are "too many other needs" in the city to approve the sidewalk plan at this time.

The station says it will "likely be shelved" if supporters can't find alternate sources of funding by the time the new sidewalks start construction this May.

Proponents argue such programs would be a financial boon for the city. According to this week's City Council meeting agenda, investment in art projects – including those asking residents to submit their own works – could benefit the local economy by more than $10 million.

Meanwhile, Moorhead is looking at establishing a citywide "art policy" that would establish a "clear direction for artists, residents and elected officials" regarding public art, city documents show.

The sidewalk project was inspired by St. Paul's “Everyday Poems for City Sidewalk” program, which the city launched back in 2008. The city was originally accepting poetry and art submissions until Friday, April 17th.

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