The Town of Simsbury is celebrating members of the LGBTQ+ community in a special way with a new rainbow art installation on the East Coast Greenway near the Simsbury Performing Arts Center.
The rainbow trail replaces the temporary rainbow crosswalk that was installed at the entrance of the center.
The celebration comes on the day that many people around the world celebrate “National Coming Out Day.”
In June, the Board of Selectmen issued a proclamation in support of LGBTQ+ pride month and unanimously supported the installation of the temporary rainbow crosswalk.
Following the installation, the town received numerous inquiries as to whether the rainbow crosswalk could be made permanent.
In August, the Board unanimously endorsed the concept of a permanent installation. The town solicited public input on the design and several submissions were received. The final design reflects a blend of multiple submissions.
Diversity and inclusion are the goals of the project and many people from the community have come out to help support one another.
Taylor Vandal said Simsbury’s new art display is a perfect example of the town making an effort to welcome everyone.
“We’re seeing outright support of inclusivity,” said Vandal. “It’s amazing that a town is making a big statement to welcome everyone and to let people know that they are valued and appreciated.”
Vandal and her wife, Aliya, recently moved to Connecticut from Minnesota and are proud residents.
“I think it is a great way as a town to show that you are open and inclusive,” said Aliya Vandal. “It’s a great example of a town standing up for people who need it.”
The art project had some opposition, according to the town’s first selectman.
There were some residents not in favor of the original crosswalk and they raised safety concerns, saying the rainbow coloring could be considered a distraction.
Town leaders decided to get rid of the crosswalk, hence, the new artwork on the Greenway trail.
Lisa McGrath is a resident and the director of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs at Westminster School in Simsbury. McGrath said that she’s excited about the effort and looks forward to others seeing the display.
“I’m looking forward to going on walks with my baby here and my spouse,” said McGrath. “We need to as a community finds ways to let members of the LGBTQ+ community know that they are not guests but are key members to our town.”