ArtPlace to invest $15.4 million in 47 creative placemaking initiatives
Foundations, financial institutions and federal agencies support arts organizations’ efforts to revitalize communities.
CHICAGO – ArtPlace, a nationwide initiative to transform communities through strategic investments in the arts, announced today it will invest $15.4 million in 47 projects in 33 communities.
Among projects receiving support are the restoration of a Memphis blues man’s home into an interactive music center, an art installation of aerial “nets” across a Philadelphia pier, and the engagement of artists to combat urban vacancy and foreclosure in Cleveland.
ArtPlace is a collaboration of 11 foundations as well as national and regional financial institutions, and federal agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts. The Kresge Foundation is part of the group.
ArtPlace has raised almost $50 million to accelerate creative placemaking across the United States and drive community revitalization and economic development through art. Placemaking refers to the planning, designing and managing of quality public spaces based on a community’s assets.
“Across the country, cities and towns are using the arts to help shape their social, physical and economic characters,” says National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman. “The arts are part of everyday life. I am thrilled to see yet another example of an arts organization working with city, state and federal offices to help strengthen and revitalize their communities through the arts. It is wonderful that ArtPlace and its funders have recognized this work and invested in it so generously.”
ArtPlace received almost 2,200 letters of inquiry from organizations seeking grants. Inquiries came from 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In 2011, the initiative awarded $11.5 million in grants to 34 projects.
New York City’s Sugar Hill Children's Museum of Art and Storytelling, this year’s top-ranked recipient, will receive $350,000 to design and create prototype exhibits for its future museum, a project of Broadway Housing Communities. The museum will be housed in a new building being designed by London-based architect David Adjaye and SLCE Architects, New York City, architect of record. Plans call for affordable housing and an early childhood center in an area of Manhattan where 70 percent of children are born into poor families.
ArtPlace is an important, innovative program that highlights the positive impact and essential contribution the arts can have on the economic vitality of neighborhoods and communities, says New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Eight ArtPlace grantees are in rural areas. Small towns and counties need to attract and retain talent, and art makes places more vibrant so that people want to stay, notes ArtPlace Director Carol Coletta.
“These rural arts projects demonstrate that smart investments in art, design and culture as part of a larger portfolio of revitalization strategies can change the trajectory of communities and increase economic opportunities for people, whether the setting is rural or urban,” Coletta says.
The garden and studio of American folk artist Howard Finster in Appalachian Georgia is one such rural project. A $445,000 grant will be used to restore and transform the site into a tourist destination and source of pride for residents.
“In cities and towns across America, ArtPlace is investing in dozens of innovative local projects to build more vibrant and diverse urban and rural communities," says Ford Foundation President Luis Ubinas. “This work is part of a national creative placemaking movement that, we believe, will have a profound and lasting impact on the health and well-being of communities throughout the country.”
In September, ArtPlace will release a new set of metrics to measure changes over time in the people, activity and real estate value in the communities where it has invested.
Foundations supporting ArtPlace in addition to Kresge include Bloomberg Philanthropies, Ford Foundation, James Irvine Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Rasmuson Foundation, Robina Foundation, William Penn Foundation and an anonymous donor.
Other federal partners joining the National Endowment for the Arts to support ArtPlace are the departments of Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Education, and Transportation, along with leadership from the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Domestic Policy Council.
ArtPlace also is supported by a $12 million loan fund capitalized by Bank of America, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Chase, MetLife and Morgan Stanley, and managed by the Nonprofit Finance Fund.
A list of this year’s ArtPlace awards can be found at artplaceamerica.org.