NEW BERN, N.C. — The Craven Arts Council is using art to bring the community together. The Unity Project was created as a symbol of harmony — and is a way to unite the uptown and downtown districts of the city of New Bern.

What You Need To Know

  • The Unity Project was funded by the Craven Arts Council but created by community members.

  • The sculpture is made of a metal frame and painted paper mache.

  • There will be an official dedication in a few months after the final touches are finished.

Local youth and community members started working on this project in August. The sculpture consists of a metal frame covered with painted paper mache. Jonathan Burger, executive director for the Craven Arts Council, came up with the original idea. He says his goal is to give every district in town access to the arts by bringing it to them.

“My focus since I've come on board as the executive director has been trying to do community building and public art because I think that art really has the power to help people,” Burger says. “So it was important to me that we start a project that embodies all of that, both in its symbolism and the way it was constructed by us in the community to take part in it.”

The project was installed earlier this month, but there's still a little patchwork to do. There will be an official dedication in a few months. Burger says it is predicted to survive about 10 years. After that, they will get the community together again to replace and repaint the hands of unity.