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New grants will provide financial support for three tourism projects in Dublin

ATLANTA, March 14, 2016 – Downtown Development Authority, City of Dublin, Dublin Laurens Recreation Authority & Visit Dublin GA announced today that they have been awarded combined total of $15,000 by the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s (GDEcD) Tourism division to fund three tourism projects: a mural and gateway signage at the site of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. monument and electrical and amphitheater upgrades and repairs at Stubbs Park in advance of DubJam, an music festival coming in June.

The City of Dublin was awarded $5,000 for the installation of a poured concrete gateway sign with photography mural, at the Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. monument site, transforming a once unsightly intersection into an artistically vibrant and primary gateway to downtown Dublin. This signage will set the tone in creating an artistic and interactive public space for tourists to experience the first step in Dr. King’s rise to greatness as a leader of the Civil Rights movement.

Dublin Downtown Development Authority will use their $5,000 award to install a 54’ 7” wide by 10’ high mural on the wall of a neighboring building highlighting First African Baptist Church and Dublin, Georgia as the location of Dr. King’s first public speech in 1944. This mural by a Georgia artist will serve as an additional interactive component of the monument site, provide an artistically colorful backdrop for the monument site, and create a vivid gateway for downtown Dublin.

Dublin-Laurens County Recreation Authority and Oconee Fall Line Technical College are partnering to use their grant to install new electrical outlets, repair existing outlets, repair the amphitheater, and return Stubbs Park to its former glory as a place to gather, host events, and experience Dublin history. An all-day acoustical music festival, DUBJam, is planned at Stubbs Park for June 8th during BRAG in hopes that the music festival can become at least an annual event, highlighting the best in Georgia’s regional and local musical talent and showcasing Stubbs Park to a new generation of heritage and cultural tourist.

“When the GDEcD’s tourism resource team visited Dublin in 2010, the Dublin-Laurens County community and its leadership, embraced the process and immediately set to work, developing the ideas suggested by the resource team and putting them into action. These grant awards, the projects themselves, and the partnerships developed through the grant process show just how committed Dublin-Laurens County is to utilizing all its tourism resources for economic growth and community development. It is exciting to see the designs and the plans become reality!” says Rebecca McWilliam, director of tourism, Visit Dublin GA.

Watch as the MLK Monument Committee reacts to the news:

In an effort to further tourism product development within the state, Georgia Tourism offered this inaugural grant to communities who participated in the department’s Tourism Product Development Resource Team program. The Tourism Product Development Resource Team program works to evaluate a community’s potential for tourism growth and development through innovative, unique experiences based on a community’s local culture and heritage.

“The Tourism Product Development Resource Team has streamlined its initiative to assisting our communities with funding, which is one of the greatest needs in fortifying tourism product development in Georgia,” said Cindy Eidson, Director of Tourism Product Development for the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “By providing initial funds to projects that we help inspire, we are jump-starting tourism economic development across the state, helping to not only grow Georgia’s tourism offerings, but also creating new jobs and sustainable economic development in each of these communities.”

Since creation, the tourism resource team program has served 31 counties, cities and projects around the state in areas ranging from agritourism to downtown development. Dublin-Laurens County is one of 13 communities awarded funding. This funding allows the local community to build new product resulting from the recommendations made by the Tourism Product Development Resource Team members or projects the community has developed as an expansion of the original resource team report.

For more information about the projects, please contact Rebecca McWilliam at Visit Dublin GA, the destination marketing organization for Dublin-Laurens County, at 478-272-4002 or by email at

About GDEcD

The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) is the state’s sales and marketing arm, the lead agency for attracting new business investment, encouraging the expansion of existing industry and small businesses, aligning workforce education and training with in-demand jobs, locating new markets for Georgia products, attracting tourists to Georgia, and promoting the state as a destination for arts and location for film, music and digital entertainment projects, as well as planning and mobilizing state resources for economic development.