ArtPlace America Gives $14.7 Million in Grants for 'Creative Placemaking Projects' Across 31 States
ArtPlace America (ArtPlace) Executive Director Jamie L. Bennett announced $14.7 million in 55 grants to creative placemaking projects that will work in 79 communities of all sizes across 31 states. In these projects, the arts will play an explicit and intentional role in helping to shape communities' social, physical, and economic futures.
These grants represent 4% of the 1,270 letters of inquiry ArtPlace received this year and include eight states in which ArtPlace has not previously funded. This year, 31% of ArtPlace's grants will go to projects working in rural communities, which compares with 17% last year. This year's projects include design, literary arts, performing arts, visual arts, and, for the first time ever, a media arts-focused project. This year's grants include a notable uptick in creative interventions for improving physical environments through recycling, green initiatives, and site remediation, as well as a number of projects aimed at disaster recovery and resiliency. In addition to continuing to invest in community- and neighborhood-specific projects, ArtPlace has also increased its investments in projects that collect a series of local interventions under a regional strategy, an approach that has emerged in both rural and urban settings.
Including this year's grants, ArtPlace has invested a total of $56.8 million in 189 projects in 122 communities across 42 states and the District of Columbia since 2012.
Mr. Bennett said, "We are thrilled to be able to invest in communities that have recognized the role that the arts can play in community planning and development. The range of projects this year reflects the dynamism of the creative placemaking field in this country, and also demonstrates the commitment, imagination, and vision of the community partners who have come together in them. While each community's story is individually compelling, it is even more powerful to consider the projects together as a national movement that continues to gain momentum and scale."
F. Javier Torres, ArtPlace's newly appointed Director of National Grantmaking, additionally announced that ArtPlace has received a one-time grant of $100,000 from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation to leverage its investments in the projects being done by The Noyes Museum of Art in Atlantic City, NJ, and the Coopers Ferry Partnership in Camden, NJ.
Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation President and CEO Chris Daggett said, "We are proud to support the field of creative placemaking in New Jersey through this grant to ArtPlace. The Foundation has a strong history of supporting both of these organizations directly, and we are thrilled to now help connect them with the national conversation and field of practice."
Mr. Torres added, "We are eager to continue to expand the support for creative placemaking in this country. Having the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation join us in this way presents a new model for partnering with regionally focused philanthropies who share our commitment to making communities more sustainable, safe, and enjoyable."
Information about all the 2014 ArtPlace projects is available at www.artplaceamerica.org.
Examples of 2014 ArtPlace grantee projects:
Alaska Arts Confluence
Although Haines is home to Fort Seward, a destination for many cruise ships, its vacant downtown storefronts leave much of the town disconnected from this important tourism economy. The Alaska Arts Confluence will contribute to the revitalization of downtown Haines by engaging the town's many resident artists to transform vacant storefronts into active art galleries. The Confluence will commission local artists to create signage connecting these galleries with the Fort Seward tourist traffic and Chilkat artists to create a totem pole at the Soboleff-McRae Veterans Village and Wellness Center being built one block from Main Street.
Los Angeles, CA
Play the LA River is the launch project of Project 51, a collective of artists, designers, community organizers, scholars, and urban planners. People will be invited en masse to sites along the Los Angeles River through a year-long, multi-pronged public art initiative. Through playful activities, interactions, festivals, and performances, the project will bring the 51-mile concrete river to life as a vital civic corridor and public space in Los Angeles and surrounding cities. The engagement is designed to reconnect residents with their waterfront while asking them to help imagine what future development along the River might be.
Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy
Public Art on the Greenway connects the Rose Kennedy Greenway's 1.5 miles of green spaces in downtown Boston by using a combination of artworks, wall-sized murals, shipping container galleries, and artist conversations to engage the public. The project features both temporary exhibits and permanent installations.
MoDCaR (Metropolitan Observatory of Digital Culture and Representation)
Building on the extraordinary musical legacy of Detroit's Oakland North End, the Metropolitan Observatory of Digital Media and Representation, working with local stakeholders, will reactivate one linear mile of historic Oakland Avenue. O.N.E. Mile will leverage a network of architects, musicians, urban designers, contemporary artists, and community advocates to collectively plan and produce a series of vibrant civic interventions with installations, performances, events, and architectural mediations.
Coop New West Jackson
Coop New West Jackson is a project addressing neighborhood blight, deterioration, and population decline with the installation of a new multi-faceted public amenity. The Grenada Street Folk Garden, an innovatively landscaped urban farm that merges cultural folk art, ecology, and agriculture, is part of a strategy to engage and empower this low-income community through entrepreneurial opportunities, folk arts programming, affordable access to fresh food, and shared recreational green space for participatory and creative play.
City of Fargo
World Gardens Commons is an artist-led initiative that engages Fargo's diverse communities in transforming an 18-acre storm-water detention basin into a multi-purpose and ecologically sound public commons. While the grass-covered basins effectively control torrential seasonal flooding, they are barren spaces that challenge neighborhood connectivity. The project includes restored meadows, walking trails, natural playgrounds, and spaces for gatherings and activities. It will serve as a pilot for other infrastructure redesigns throughout Fargo.
Santo Domingo Pueblo, NM
Santo Domingo Tribe
With a committee of distinguished artists and designers-including landscape architect Laurie Olin-the Santo Domingo Pueblo is focused on developing a heritage trail to connect New Mexico's second largest pueblo nation with a newly constructed commuter rail station that will provide access to Albuquerque and Santa Fe. The trail will combine safety and convenience with identity, placemaking, and cultural expression. The project also creates new, artist-centric economic opportunities within the Pueblo. Through a partnership with the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health, the Tribe will also explore how to understand and measure the ways that this trail will benefit physical and mental health.
The Village of Arts and Humanities
The Village of Arts and Humanities, an organization carrying out a range of arts-focused community development programs, grew out of the artistic and activist work of choreographer Arthur Hall and visual artist Lily Yeh. The Village inaugurated an artist residency program this year, in which artists live and work in the North Philadelphia community. These five-month residencies enable both formal and informal interactions among artists and neighbors, including conversations, programs, apprenticeships, and workshops, and culminate in the execution of a transformative project rooted equally in artistic practice and community engagement. The grant will continue these residencies after a successful pilot stage.
The project brings together Austin's creative communities, city planners, developers, and local residents to envision and prototype a creative district of affordable living, working, learning, and exhibition and performance space at thinkEAST, a 24-acre former industrial site in East Austin. A "pop-up" Fusebox Festival on the property will comprise multidisciplinary performances, installations, and community events modelling a "living charrette" for a vibrant, creative, mixed- use community of the future. The final stage of the project will develop a district master plan and business plan for thinkEAST to be presented to stakeholders and City Council.
Abington, VA and nine other rural Virginia communities
The Barter Theatre will develop and implement a creative industry cluster that will activate performing arts centers in nine rural towns in Southwest Virginia by creating a regional touring network and sharing programmatic and operational resources. Productions will include plays with Appalachian themes and writers and folk music of the region. The project complements an ongoing effort to help communities revive their downtown historic theaters.
For a full list of 2014 projects and finalists, www.artplaceamerica.org.
About ArtPlace America: ArtPlace America (ArtPlace) advances the field of creative placemaking, in which art and culture plays an explicit and central role in shaping communities' social, physical, and economic
futures. To date, ArtPlace has awarded $56.8 million through 189 grants to projects serving 122 communities across 42 states and the District of Columbia.
ArtPlace is a collaboration among the Barr Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Ford Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The William Penn Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Rasmuson Foundation, The Surdna Foundation, and two anonymous donors.
ArtPlace seeks advice and counsel from its close working relationships with the following federal agencies: the National Endowment for the Arts, the US 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 has additional partnership from six major financial institutions: Bank of America, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Chase, MetLife, and Morgan Stanley.
Several of ArtPlace's foundation partners have deep commitments to their local and regional communities and have provided enhanced funding for communities of all sizes in Alaska, California, and Minnesota; and for rural and non-metropolitan communities throughout Arizona, Iowa, Michigan, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. Enhanced funding also exists to support the cities of Akron, OH; Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville, MA; Charlotte, NC; Detroit, MI; Macon, GA; Miami, FL; Philadelphia, PA; San Jose, CA; and St. Paul, MN. Additionally, several funders are interested in ensuring the participation and representation of folk and traditional arts, Native American arts, and the performing arts.
The deadline for submission for a 2015 grant application will be announced later this year. For more information or to join ArtPlace's mailing list, visit www.artplaceamerica.org.