M-NCPPC’s Downtown Wheaton Headquarters is Getting a New Mural

Per the Montgomery County Planning Board:

Winning mural concept showcases diverse culture of Wheaton through dance

The outside of M-NCPPC’s downtown Wheaton Headquarters is getting a new mural!

The mural design was selected through an online community vote as part of The Wheaton HQ Mural Project. A total of 11,703 votes were cast online in March 2021 for three different mural designs.

Nicole Bourgea’s concept of dancers reflecting Wheaton’s multicultural community received over 60% of community members’ votes. Now, Bourgea will work with Montgomery Planning to finalize plans to paint her mural design in spring 2021.

The Wheaton HQ Mural Project is made possible by a generous donation from Stonebridge Development, the private partner who helped to build the Wheaton Headquarters.

Nicole Bourgea, a local artist from Kensington, submitted her qualifications in fall 2020 in response to M-NCPPC’s call for mural artist qualifications. Out of 28 submissions, a jury of representatives from the local community, the Montgomery Planning and Parks Departments, and the Regional Services Center selected her as well as two other finalists to prepare mural designs for the community to vote on.

Bourgea submitted the following description of her work as “Artist #1” to help inform the public voting process:

This mural is a bold, colorful celebration of the fact that while we dance to our own beats, we all smile in the same language. We come from diverse multicultural legacies with unique perspectives and various abilities, but we each have an important gift to offer with our life.

The concept for this mural was inspired by the artist’s son who has Down syndrome and LOVES to dance. To see him dance—overcome with joy and the need to move his body to express that joy—is to know unequivocally that the most human thing we can do is to live fully alive! We dance for different reasons, in many different styles, but each dance is a tribute to the heart that beats in the chest of the dancer.

This mural will be situated in the heart of Wheaton, MD, a community bustling with businesses run by people originating from many rich cultural legacies. This wall therefore represents a unique opportunity to both encourage these diverse heritages to thrive, as well as to welcome pedestrians of all backgrounds to experience the magic of this vibrant neighborhood. All lives are enhanced and enlivened by interactions with cultures and traditions once foreign to us. These experiences point to our shared identity as people. This design is a celebration of Wheaton’s strength as an authentic, vivid collage of humanity as well as its deep roots and bright, evolving future.

Mural Location

The mural will be located on the outside of the new, 14-story M-NCPPC Wheaton Headquarters strategically placed in the heart of Wheaton’s Arts and Entertainment District. This LEED Platinum building, which opened in August 2020, is owned by M-NCPPC and houses the headquarters of Montgomery Planning and Montgomery Parks as well as several county agencies.

The mural will be placed on the building’s north-facing concrete block wall, adjacent to an existing surface parking lot owned by the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT), between Triangle Lane and Grandview Avenue.

The mural will be applied to the north wall of the headquarters shown above (click each to enlarge).

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