NORFOLK - Sculptures are taking over downtowns all over Nebraska.

Norfolk is in its fifth year hosting a sculpture walk, featuring works from artists - both local and from all over the country - spread out around downtown. 

Local officials say it's a way to make Norfolk more of a destination city.
"When visitors are coming to our community this adds another experience," says Norfolk Area Visitors Bureau Executive Director Traci Jeffrey. "When you're in your downtown, walking to your destination, it allows you to look at the pieces along the way."
Norfolk is part of the group Sculpture Walks Across Nebraska (SWAN) which has spread its wings to also include similar tours in Grand Island and Valentine, with North Platte and Columbus expected to join next year.
The artists get a $1,000 stipend for participating, money that comes from multiple sources. In Norfolk, the city's arts council foots some of the bill, while the sculpture walk also gets grant funds and revenue from scheduled tours to help fill in the gaps.
It's an investment officials say is money well spent.
"Art in a community is an economic driver," says Norfolk Sculpture Walk committee member Angie Stenger. "When people see art, like the new murals in town or the sculptures, it shows that this is a creative space. It shows that this is a vibrant community that is growing."
And it's not just SWAN communities displaying artists' work. Wayne has developed its own sculpture walk, now in its third year.
"I think it's a quality of life piece," says Wayne Area Economic Development Executive Director Luke Virgil. "Art enhances the community wherever it is. It's something that makes your community feel more at home and more like a place that I want to be."
"It gives people another option of things to do in Wayne," adds city council president Jill Broderson. "It gets people out and about. It gets them to our historic downtown and gives those highlights to Wayne."
Visitors can use the Otocast app to get virtual guided tours of the sculpture walks and get a good look at what else these downtowns have to offer them.