On the right track to revitalization

By: 
Dana Keener
Staff Writer

The concepts of change and revitalization have been discussed widely throughout the county in recent months. From the call to all residents of Hot Spring County to participate in planning the future through the HSC Conversations community improvement initiative, to smaller enclaves of concerned citizens establishing their own grassroots efforts by founding groups like Malvern Arkansas Community Improvement, among others, change is becoming imminent.
The quiet revolution of revitalization is encompassing the area. Revitalization efforts are being led by several recently established groups comprised of concerned citizens with a vision.
Dara Casey, Malvern, has her own vision for improving the current Amtrak train depot located at 200 East First Street in Malvern.
Casey has partnered with Malvern High School Art teacher, Carrie Sherbert. The pair have planned a day for the students in Sherbert’s art classes to converge upon the Amtrak train depot to transform the exterior of the building with an original, student-created, mural. The group will meet at the depot on Friday, March 15.
Casey feels that since the theme of the mural conveys a message of progress, it is an ideal location for a couple of reasons. The viaduct passing over the railroad tracks and depot serves as an unofficial gateway to the city of Malvern. Since the students involved in the creation of the mural are the future leaders of HSC, it is a natural fit to include their artistic creation to the changes that are in their planning stages. Next, the addition of the mural has become the impetus for updating the current condition of the depot.
Casey stated that the project will be completed using donated paint, materials, and supplies. “We are more than willing to put in the work. We just need the materials to get it (the mural) done. Right now we are receiving donations of some of these things from some places in town. The main thing though, is that people should know that beautifying our city doesn’t require tons of money, and a massive effort to organize a group. It only takes pride in where we live,” said Casey.

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