One of his biggest visions is to create a new Hillcrest arts festival.
Last week the Hillcrest Town Council announced the formation of the Hillcrest Arts Committee, the chair of which will be activist and community member Erik Benson. The 26-year-old has not revealed the full description of his duties yet, but we asked him a few questions on some of what he plans to do.
Benson currently, works at The Rail and has a group called B2 Creative Productions, "We host art shows and creative events to raise money to become a non-profit to assist artists who may be struggling or want to gain exposure."
His official title is the Arts Committee Chair and he explains that his role will be to create and execute projects as seen fit.
"Things we have discussed are finding spaces for new eye-catching murals, gallery venues, and other beautification projects," he says.
The biggest project they intend to work on is creating "an arts festival here in Hillcrest that would allow LGBT/Allies to present their creations for the mass and potentially bring in some funds to the town as well."
With all of the talk of rainbow crosswalks, we wondered if that's on his short list of things to do for our own neighborhood. He says he recently attended a Hillcrest Business Association meeting about it, although he is unsure what he can reveal.
"I will say that they have the concept in mind and completely understand the desire for it," Benson told SDGLN. "The crosswalk will need much community participation in fundraising and maintenance. It’s plausible but I will say that the immediate proposal is not the primary issue."
Benson says there's plenty of things to consider before the project can get off the ground including its future upkeep.
"Replacement of it will be inevitable and concern of future councils and associations desire to maintain it is in question," he said. "Future meetings will have more discussion of the topic but community enthusiasm and opinions are always welcome. As of right now, Hillcrest Town Council does not have a stance on the topic but personally, I believe a project of this category would not only beautify the community but engage them as the flag does."
He would love to see the crosswalks become a permanent fixture in Hillcrest, "It would be an amazing landmark that would bring visitors in from outside areas. Again, that is my personal opinion."
Benson officially started his new position last week and is looking through applications to join this special group, "from there we will bounce ideas off of each other," said Benson.