The Kalamazoo Eastside Neighborhood Association and the Kalamazoo County Land Bank are excited to announce a Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) grant for Eastside Sunrise Plaza, a public pocket plaza on East Main that will feature local artists, resident stories through haikus, and highlight the neighborhood motto, “The sun always rises in the East.”
Located at 1616 East Main, Eastside Sunrise Plaza is the first installation in a larger, community-envisioned redevelopment project named by residents as Eastside Square, a concept that was imagined based on resident desires for affordable, varied housing, family-friendly commercial space, and attractive places to gather.
Set to break ground this year, Eastside Sunrise Plaza includes artwork designed by Conrad Kaufman and former Eastside resident Gerald King; and short poems called haiku written by Eastside resident and poet Buddy Hannah, inspired by stories from the Eastside Voices oral intergenerational project and by poems that were submitted to the neighborhood association about life on the Eastside. Eastside Voices was led by artists, Buddy Hannah and Sid Ellis.
The principal art piece, a large rising sun with rays created from yellow plexiglass, will be featured on the corner of East Main and Trimble, with plantings, outdoor furniture, and haiku inscribed on ceramic tiles placed throughout the plaza. The plaza tiles will also include rising suns to reflect the plaza’s theme.
The Eastside Sunrise Plaza is part of a larger, community-envisioned redevelopment project called Eastside Square, which will also feature one and two bedroom affordable, energy-efficient housing units and family-friendly commercial space.