A! Magazine for the Arts

This is one of the fairy doors scattered throughout Bristol.

This is one of the fairy doors scattered throughout Bristol.

Fairies make their home in historic downtown Bristol with new public art project

July 31, 2018

Believe in Bristol, along with several participating small businesses, have introduced a new public art project in historic downtown Bristol: Fairy Doors.

What is a fairy door, you ask? It is exactly what you would expect: a miniature door designed for fairies to come and go as they please. The fairy door art project came to the Believe in Bristol promotions committee after a team member saw a story on the success of a similar public art project in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Coordinated through Believe in Bristol, the Main Street program for the downtown district, businesses were encouraged to get creative and design a door to be installed on the exterior of their business. The committee wanted the downtown businesses to have a say in the personality of their fairy doors, and those who have participated have embraced the project - from a musically-inspired cottage entrance at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum to a hand-fired pottery fairy door at Kil’n Time. What might sound like a silly idea is actually an integral piece of community engagement, one that will encourage locals and visitors to explore downtown. The fairy doors project is also part of a yearlong public art series in historic downtown Bristol with other projects planned for later in the year.

“Arts and culture are proving their power as economic and social catalysts,” says Maggie Bishop, executive director for Believe in Bristol. “Arts-based place-making is an integrative approach to urban planning and community building. Plus, it’s a fun and unexpected, addition to our arts and entertainment-focused downtown.”

Doors will continue to be installed by Believe in Bristol throughout the summer. For more information, contact Maggie Bishop at Believe in Bristol at 423-573-2201, info@believeinbristol.org or visit www.believeinbristol.org.