In the Spring of 2017, a community-led public art and artifact collection event was prompted by the recent installation of a prominent roundabout created in the Massey Hill neighborhood at the intersection of Camden and Cumberland Roads (Fayetteville, NC).
Collectively known as The Massey Hill Heritage Discovery Project this group consisted of neighborhood residents, private citizens with ties to the community, several non-profits and local and state government agencies.
Massey Hill has a long and proud textile mill heritage and committee members wanted to support a piece of public art that would reflect their heritage and to collect historic artifacts that reflected the lifestyle of that by-gone era. In the ensuing months, fund-raising efforts and public meetings were held.
The Massey Hill Heritage Discovery Project, in conjunction with the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County and the Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex, issued a Request for Proposal and selected artists Michael Waller and Leah Foushee of WallerFoushee Studios to work with the community to create a public artwork that celebrates the the proud history, lives and spirit of Massey Hill. The piece is a montage of iconic images that depict home, work, faith and sports, and honors the generations of families who were educated at Massey Hill School and worked in the three textile mills located near the work and was installed in January 2019.
The collection event was held on June 24, 2018 at the Massey Hill High School gymnasium where more than 50 participants brought in historic photos, textile mill artifacts and other memorabilia, or gave oral histories.
Eventually, the Massey Hill Heritage Discovery Project hopes to have a physical space where visitors can view these historic items.