Goldsboro has been selected as the first recipient of a $25,000 art infusion grant from One Main Financial Co. for a downtown beautification project.

The Made on Main Street grant will provide funds for local artists to create a large mural on the outside of one of the downtown buildings, that will be chosen later in the process. In addition, local artists will also create six crosswalk murals.

"This partnership offers a unique opportunity to infuse art into the heart of our city," said Julie Metz, downtown development director. "Potentially, seven different artists have the chance to leave their artistic mark on downtown Goldsboro, allowing for varying styles, colors, subjects and perspectives.

"It is our hope that this kind of diversity will mirror that in our community. We feel honored that One Main Financial and Main Street America have selected the city of Goldsboro's main street program as the first recipient of this new grant."

The mural will also highlight one of Goldsboro's assets -- the fact that it's part of the African American Music Trail of North Carolina, which was created by the North Carolina Arts Council in 2005 to highlight the rich music traditions of the eastern part of the state.

The city has taken proposals from local artists for the murals. From April 9 through 19, the top three designs for the building mural will be promoted and will be available for public feedback.

April 21, the selected artist and his or her design will be announced at an event organized by One Main Financial Co., the city and National Main Street Center that will be open to the public.

During the event, six artists will create the crosswalk murals while visitors watch. Two murals will be painted at the intersection of John and Walnut streets, and the remaining four will be painted at the intersection of James and Walnut streets.

"The hope is that these murals will add interest, vibrancy, color and character to these sections of downtown," Metz said.

The artist who will do the building mural will have until June 2 to complete the artwork.

Metz said the murals are an ongoing effort to create a thriving public art environment to enhance Goldsboro's uniqueness and support downtown's economic development strategy.

The murals will be unique to Goldsboro and will serve as an attraction for tourists.

Metz said they will also tell Goldsboro's story and serve as a space to celebrate and honor the community members who contributed, directly or indirectly, to the music movement that spurred the development of the African American Music Trail.