What's Happening in Walnut Cove

Our dream is to develop a community space filled with art created out of encapsulated coal ash.

What We Have Accomplished So Far

An Overview of The Lilies Project



Location: TBD
Walnut Cove, NC

Programming period

January 1, 2018 - June 30, 2020

Installation Deadline

June 30th, 2020


Caroline Armijo
Amy Adams
David Hairston
Eddy McGee
Kunigal Shivakumar


Through a generous grant with the National Creative Placemaking Fund by ArtPlace America, we hope to create a celebrated community space of renewal and offer a range of programming centered around the past, present and future. Using the polymer encapsulation technology developed at NC A&T State University, we will demonstrate the wide range of uses for local coal ash as a means of cleaning up this pollutant. Here the community can participate in performances, play and rest. They can share stories, create art and envision a new future that includes energy innovation. 

Read More about ArtPlace America's National Creative Placemaking Fund.


What is the NCPF Grant about?

Walnut Cove, NC is adjacent to Duke Energy’s Belews Creek Power Station, which houses 20 million tons of coal ash. Local mixed-media artist Caroline Armijo will partner with scientists from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University to create a series of sculptures that repurpose this hazardous waste material safely and that will become the centerpiece of a new public park. This project will also serve as a local pilot for environmental policy that will determine how coal ash is managed in the region. 

The Original Grant Proposal

What we intend to accomplish:



Demonstrate A&T's polymer encapsulation process as a viable way to reuse coal ash in addition to the concrete industry. 



Create art to be displayed in a public park in Walnut Cove and invite community members of Southeastern Stokes County to collaborate in the artistic process and participate in accompanying programming. 



Recognize Jester Hairston, who was born in the Belews Creek community, as the most accomplished, world-renowned artist and composer. He was also a civil rights leader by inviting all Hairston's - both black and white - to dine with him at what was dubbed Jester's Table. The Lilies of the Field reference stems from the movie starring Sidney Poitier, in which Jester Hairston composed and sang the song, "Amen."


What is ArtPlace America? 

ArtPlace America (ArtPlace) is a ten-year collaboration among 16 partner foundations, along with 8 federal agencies and 6 financial institutions, that works to position arts and culture as a core sector of comprehensive community planning and development in order to help strengthen the social, physical, and economic fabric of communities. 

ArtPlace focuses its work on creative placemaking, projects in which art plays an intentional and integrated role in place-based community planning and development. This brings artists, arts organizations, and artistic activity into the suite of placemaking strategies pioneered by Jane Jacobs and her colleagues, who believed that community development must be locally informed, human-centric, and holistic.

What is Creative Placemaking? 

Creative Placemaking is an evolving field of practice that intentionally leverages the power of the arts, culture and creativity to serve a community’s interest while driving a broader agenda for change, growth and transformation in a way that also builds character and quality of place. Read more about Creative Placemaking.