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After a thrilling two years spent launching ArtPlace, I have accepted a position at the Knight Foundation to run the combined portfolios of National Strategic Initiatives and Communities to support informed and engaged communities.

ArtPlace is in a good place and in very good hands.

This amazing collaboration of 13 foundations, six banks, the NEA and a number of federal agencies came together rapidly in response to the opportunity then-NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman identified to use art to transform communities.  To date, ArtPlace has made 80 grants totalling almost $28 million to 76 organizations in 46 communities and is in the midst of a third cycle expected to award another $15 million in grants.  ArtPlace has received more than 3500 letters of inquiry from organizations in every state, demonstrating the pervasive excitement about this developing field.

With its grants, ArtPlace has leveraged an additional $178 million of funding.

In addition to making grants, ArtPlace has worked with Impresa Consulting to develop groundbreaking research on vibrancy and diversity to evaluate its creative placemaking portfolio.  However, the nature of the research is such that many, many others can use both the methodology, and the data for their own purposes.  In January, ArtPlace announced America’s Top ArtPlaces, generating interest and visibility for mayors, BID directors, small business owners, artists and arts organizations.  Also in January, ArtPlace staged the first national gathering of America’s creative placemakers, attracting almost 200 enthusiastic pioneers to Miami.

It couldn’t be a more exciting moment for both the artists who are doing, and who want to do, this work, and for the people who understand its value.

I will continue to be an enthusiastic champion of ArtPlace and encourage support of creative placemaking.  I believe deeply in the ArtPlace theory of change.  It was my great good fortune to work with such a distinguished group of foundations to bring ArtPlace to life.

Best regards,

Carol Coletta