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Creative Placemaking Initiatives Sweep the Nation; ArtPlace Announces $15.4 Million in Grants for 47 Projects Nationwide

The restoration of a Memphis bluesman’s home into an interactive music center… an art installation of aerial “nets” stretching across a Philadelphia pier where new development is happening… a venture to engage artists to creatively combat urban vacancy and foreclosure in Cleveland… these are just a few of the 47 projects awarded grants today from ArtPlace to support their use of the arts to improve quality of place and transform their communities.

“Across the country, cities and towns are using the arts to help shape their social, physical, and economic characters,” said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. “The arts are a part of everyday life, and I am thrilled to see yet another example of arts organizations 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 2200 letters of inquiry from organizations seeking a portion of the $15.4 million available for grants in this cycle. Inquiries came from 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling in New York is the top-ranked recipient of ArtPlace awards in 2012. The museum will receive a $350,000 grant for Local Projects (localprojects.net) to design and prototype exhibits for the future museum, a project of Broadway Housing Communities. The museum will be housed in a new building designed by internationally-celebrated design architect David Adjaye and SLCE, architect of record. It will include affordable housing and an early childhood center in a part of Manhattan where 70 percent of children are born into poor families.

“As a result of these Artplace grants, 47 art and cultural projects will play a critical role in 33 local communities, driving the revitalization of a diverse group of neighborhoods across the country,” said philanthropist and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “This is an important, innovative program that highlights the positive impact and essential contribution the arts can have on the economic vitality of neighborhoods and the communities they serve.”

Creative placemaking isn’t just for cities. Eight of the ArtPlace grantees are in rural areas. For these small towns and counties, there is a deep need to attract and retain talent, and art often “punches above its weight” when it comes to making places more vibrant so that people want to stay, says Carol Coletta of ArtPlace.

“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,” explained Coletta.

The garden and studio of American folk artist Howard Finster in Appalachian Georgia is one such rural project. The site will be restored and transformed into a destination for tourists and focus of pride for local residents, thanks to a $445,000 grant from ArtPlace.

“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,” said 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 wellbeing 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 value in the communities where ArtPlace has invested with its grants.

Participating foundations include 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 Rockefeller Foundation, Rasmuson Foundation, The Robina Foundation, The William Penn Foundation and an anonymous donor. In addition to the NEA, federal partners 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 is also supported by a $12 million loan fund capitalized by six major financial institutions and managed by the Nonprofit Finance Fund. Participating institutions are Bank of America, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Chase, MetLife and Morgan Stanley.

Here is the complete list of ArtPlace grantees for 2012-13:

Using Art to Bring New Life to Rural Communities

Art-Force Program – $485,000 – Public Art Collaborative – Siler City, Greenville and Sanford, NC

Artists, art, and design are at the center of manufacturing renewal in three North Carolina communities through this cross-sector program that places artists in residence at under-capacity manufacturing plants and supports the production of artist-conceived and designed works.

Artsipelago – $250,000 – Quoddy Tides Foundation d/b/a Tides Institute & Museum of Art – Eastport, ME

Betting on art as the centerpiece of an economic comeback, Artsipelago will rebrand and connect a number of established efforts as well as develop artist live/work space and studio space to drive arts participation and ultimately talent retention in this rural, multicultural, coastal archipelago.

The Higher Ground Project – $273,000 – Higher Ground Coalition/The Appalachian Program at Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College – Cumberland, KY

This participatory community arts project and the coalition behind it will transform spaces to catalyze economic development by connecting art, design and commerce in a rural Appalachian coalfield county.

Paradise Garden Revival – $445,000 – Chattooga County, Georgia – Summerville, GA

The restoration and rehabilitation of the home studio and outdoor art environment of famed American folk artist Howard Finster in Summerville, Georgia will create an exciting anchor to increase cultural tourism and entrepreneurial economic development.

Sitka Arts Campus – $350,000 – Alaska Arts Southeast, Inc. (AAS) – Sitka, AK

Alaska Arts Southeast will transform a closed National Historic Landmark college into a multidimensional arts campus, bringing new life to rural Southeast Alaska.

Wormfarm Institute’s Food Chain – $75,000 – Wormfarm Institute – Sauk County, WI

Marrying the local food movement with the arts, Wormfarm Institute will create an arts-infused caravan of mobile farm stands delivering a marketplace of food, art, and ideas throughout its eight-county region.

 

Using Art to Accelerate Transit Oriented Development

Anpetu Was’te Cultural Arts Market – $435,000 – Native American Community Development Institute – Minneapolis, MN

An undeveloped light rail station at one end of Minneapolis’ American Indian Cultural Corridor will transform into a cultural gateway and arts market, welcoming people to the corridor and serving as a unique community gathering space.

Fairmount Indigo Line Cultural Corridor - $480,000 – The Boston Foundation – Dorchester, MA

Art installations, outdoor markets, and random acts of culture in the neighborhood surrounding the Uphams Corner train station will advance a vision for the Fairmount Indigo Line as a cultural corridor that draws upon the local cultural assets and ethnic traditions of the corridor’s residents.

Roosevelt Row Cultural District – $150,000 – Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation – Phoenix, AZ

This effort will brand and visually identify Phoenix’s Roosevelt Row Cultural District, just east of a light rail stop, as a vibrant arts community through new streetscape design guidelines, a portable temporary gallery and artist live/work space.


Using Art to Develop Civic Brand Stories

Illuminating Downtown – $600,000 – City of San Jose Public Art – San Jose, CA

The artist-led llluminating Downtown Program combines art, high-tech strategies and environmental sustainability to physically manifest San Jose’s aspirational goals for creating a more engaging Downtown that looks, feels and acts like the Capital of Silicon Valley.

ImagiNative Alaska Experience – $295,000 – Alaska Native Heritage Center – Anchorage, AK

The ImagiNative Alaska Experience will rebrand Anchorage as a center of Native arts by embedding it throughout the city through permanent and temporary interventions, including public art commissions, art markets, small business training, a roving Native Art cart and cultural flash mobs.

The Northern Initiative – $199,960 – Anchorage Museum Association – Anchorage, AK

The Anchorage Museum will use art to spark conversation about how to leverage the distinctiveness of place and position Anchorage as a pivotal city in the Circumpolar North.

Reviving Seattles Nihonmachi: Activating the Historic Higo Garden Hub – $200,000 – Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience – Seattle, WA

A hidden, historic outdoor space in Seattle’s Nihonmachi (Japantown) will be reactivated, creating a safe, accessible and sustainable community hub that will serve as a new cultural destination on The Wing’s walking tours and an economic driver for the entire neighborhood.

WaterFire’s Learning Lab – $454,000 – WaterFire Providence – Providence, RI

Building on its experience of successfully activating and rebranding downtown Providence, WaterFire’ Learning Lab will allow the organization to collaborate with artists and arts organizations to develop and execute experiments in creative placemaking with a range of projects, genres and techniques at different frequencies and scales.

 

Using Art to Spark Redevelopment

Collinwood Rising – $500,000 – Northeast Shores Development Corporation – Cleveland, OH

To creatively combat urban vacancy and foreclosure in Cleveland’s North Shore Collinwood neighborhood, Collinwood Rising will work with artists to establish replicable development models for artist space in older industrial cities, leveraging ongoing HUD and municipal investments.

Glass House Collective – $300,000 – Glass House Collective – Chattanooga, TN

Building on CreateHere’s success in transforming the south side of Chattanooga, Glass House Collective is the next chapter in the city’s creative placemaking efforts with a focus on revitalizing a commercial district on historic Glass Street in the heart of East Chattanooga through artistic streetscaping efforts, temporary arts interventions and creative entrepreneurship training and relocation.

Memphis Music Magnet – $678,195 – Community L.I.F.T. and Memphis Symphony Orchestra – Memphis, TN

Community L.I.F.T. and the Memphis Symphony Orchestra will activate elements of the Memphis Music Magnet plan, a collaboratively-developed, arts-based revitalization concept that builds on musical heritage and cultural assets to foster increased recognition of Soulsville USA and to fuel its redevelopment.

St. Claude Arts District and Parkette Program – $275,000 – St. Claude Main Street, Inc. and CivicCenter – New Orleans, LA

To encourage commercial and cultural revitalization along a pivotal corridor in New Orleans, St. Claude Arts District and Parkette Program will unify and support the corridor’s creative endeavors and promote its activities through innovative marketing, visual identify and community engagement programs.

Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling – $350,000 – Broadway Housing Communities – New York, NY

Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling offers a new model for a children’s museum based on inter-generational storytelling while integrating affordable housing and early education in a 172,000 sq. ft. mixed-use development designed by celebrated architect David Adjaye.

Washington Park Arts Incubator – $400,000 – The University of Chicago – Chicago, IL

Led by artist Theaster Gates, the Washington Park Arts Incubator will serve as a powerful catalyst for neighborhood revitalization by creating a new hub for artistic production and community engagement on Chicagoʼs South Side.

Wynwood Arts Business Improvement District – $140,000 – Wynwood Arts District Association, Inc. – Miami, FL

The transformation of the Wynwood Arts District, a once desolate neighborhood of roughly 96 city blocks located north of downtown Miami, will be supported by the establishment of a Business Improvement District.

 

Making Artist Live/Work Space

The Bell School Campus – portion of $1,000,000 – Artspace – New Orleans, LA

In New Orleans’ Tremé neighborhood, an abandoned six-building, two-block public school campus will become an arts and education center that will include 73 units of affordable live/work space for low income artist families.

Magic City Lofts – portion of $1,000,000 – Artspace – Minot, ND

In Minot, North Dakota, Artspace is developing a mixed-use arts facility that will bring new vibrancy to the cityʼs flood-ravaged historic downtown and create a new art gallery featuring Native American artists.

SALTQUARTERS – $400,000 – Near West Side Initiative Inc. – Syracuse, NY

A vacant, two-story former restaurant in the center of an underserved urban neighborhood of Syracuse will become an arts hub, with two artist apartments (housing four artists), three art studio spaces, and a small gallery/exhibition space.

 

Using Art to Strengthen Business and the Economy

Dance as a Learning Platform – $165,619 – Hubbard Street Dance Chicago – Chicago, IL

Using dance as a learning platform for collaboration, innovation, leadership and growth, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago will translate skills inherent in making new dances to a community of early-stage technology companies populating a newly created tech center in Chicago.

The Soul of Brooklyn – $250,000 – Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) – Brooklyn, NY

A collaborative effort between African Diaspora arts organizations and businesses, The Soul of Brooklyn will drive people and activity to its community through a curated monthly cultural series and intense summer series that presents arts programming in neighborhood businesses to bolster the local economy in Central Brooklyn.

 

Using Art to Connect and Animate Communities

The Art House Resident Program – $250,000 – Out North Contemporary Art House – Anchorage, AK

Out North will be a collaborative, dynamic community space where a dozen resident groups can create, present, produce, teach, and reach out through art, music, education and journalism to build community pride, resilience and resolve.

The Chicago Avenue Arts District – $250,000 – Pillsbury House + Theatre (PH+T) – Minneapolis, MN

PH+T, an award winning theater embedded in a human service organization, will engage community residents, artists, youth, businesses, arts nonprofits and others in this highly diverse, burgeoning cultural district to animate the community through a concentration of art-based projects.

Chinatown North Social Practice Lab – $450,000 – Asian Arts Initiative – Philadelphia, PA

The Social Practice Lab will focus on Philadelphia’s Chinatown North as a dynamic neighborhood site for local and national artists to explore contemporary visual and performing arts that forge alliances to encourage neighborhood development and positive change within the community.

Esperanza’s Cultural Continuum – $290,900 – Esperanza Community Housing Corporation – Los Angeles, CA

Through Esperanza’s Cultural Continuum project, Mercado La Paloma will become a place to explore and experience the indigenous cultures of the diverse residents of South Los Angeles with fixed media exhibits, film screenings, music performances, dance, workshops, cooking classes, tastings and lectures, creating a cultural focal point in this south Los Angeles neighborhood.

Gather: Curating Community Through Music – $100,000 – Community MusicWorks (CMW) – Providence, RI

Gather, a monthly series of curated experiences combining exceptional musical performances with neighborhood-building activities, will draw resources, people, and ideas to the economically-challenged West Side of Providence.

The Hunger Cycle – $342,500 – Cornerstone Theater Company – Los Angeles, CA

Advancing the local food movement, Cornerstone Theater Company will produce a series of plays developed with local communities that transform unusual spaces into theatrical venues while connecting community members with farmers and fresh local foods to stimulate new consumer chains.

The Light Box at Goldman Warehouse – $385,000 – Miami Light Project, Inc. – Miami, FL

Funding will support the activation and stabilization of a 12,000 sq. ft. multi-tenant performance and visual art space in the heart of Wynwood, an up-and-coming light industrial warehouse arts district in Miami. The Light Box will be a space for artists to research and make work, explore disciplines, and hone their unique voices through extended residencies, international exchange, cross-disciplinary approaches and the presentation of new work.

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Center – $250,000 – New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc. – New Orleans, LA

The Jazz & Heritage Foundation will renovate a 19th-century building on the edge of the historic Tremé neighborhood of New Orleans into a center dedicated to perpetuating and protecting the indigenous arts of the surrounding community and leveraging the neighborhood’s historic status to generate economic growth.

 

Using Art to Help Communities Imagine New Futures

Broadway Cultural Quarter - $470,000 – City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs – Los Angeles, CA

Famed architect Thom Mayne and Morphosis Architects will provide pre-development work on the Broadway Arts Center, a mixed-use facility featuring affordable artists’ housing and studios, performance, rehearsal and exhibition space in L.A.’s historic Theater Row.

Building Imagination in California’s Central Valley – $176,177 – California State University, Stanislaus College of the Arts – Modesto, CA

The Imagination Center activates a stagnant downtown Modesto strip with a new exhibit space for time-based media, featuring indoor and outdoor video screenings, training and art-making activities, and a visual art exhibition space.

Flint Public Art Project – $250,000 – Flint Public Art Project – Flint, MI

Visionary practitioners of contemporary art, design, architecture, and urbanism team up with local artists, residents, and institutions to collaborate on a series of public art installations, performances, educational programs, small-scale sculptures, and urban designs to reimagine Flint.

Skate House, Squash House, Play House – $250,000 – Power House Productions – Detroit, MI

Power House Productions, led by artists and their collaborators, will transform three vacant houses in Detroit’s Banglatown neighborhood into a series of active sculptural spaces, continuing their mission of integrating contemporary art practices into an underserved neighborhood.

 

Integrating Art and Design into Creative Citymaking

Creative Citymaking – $325,000 – Intermedia Arts – Minneapolis, MN

Creative Citymaking, a new program fostering long-term collaborations between artists and planners, will result in a new model for creative city planning with a goal of increasing participation of diverse communities in determining their futures.

City Artist in Residence – $300,000 – Public Art Saint Paul – St. Paul, MN

Artists will be embedded within public agencies to transform how the city is organized and experienced by expanding the definition of creative placemaking beyond the geography of specific sites to the living systems of the city.

 

Stretching Established Cultural Institutions Beyond Their Boundaries

Temporary Contemporary – $225,000 – Bass Museum of Art – Miami Beach, FL

In an effort to curate an entire neighborhood, TC: Temporary Contemporary, a public art program, brings recognized contemporary artists to Miami Beach to create temporary, site-specific projects within the City Center/Arts District.

Cultural Living Room – $268,500 – Detroit Institute of Arts – Detroit, MI

Two iconic spaces at the DIA will offer innovative programming in conjunction with strategic partners in order to reposition the museum as an inspiring “third space” in Midtown to encourage creativity, exchange and connection for all Detroit residents.

South on Main – $290,000 – The Oxford American Literary Project – Little Rock, AR

Building on its brand as a media property for the best in Southern culture, The Oxford American will create a home for diverse live arts programming and food that uses regional distinctiveness as its focus in Little Rock’s burgeoning South Main Street (SOMA) district.

SCI-Arc Arts District Anchor Project – $400,000 – Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) – Los Angeles, CA

SCI-Arc is reaching out into the emerging Los Angeles Arts District around its new facility by constructing two new public performance/lecture spaces and managing programming for a third public programming venue in a new development across the street.

 

Using Art and Design to Activate Public Space

Numen/For Use Public Art Project – $200,000 – City of Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy – Philadelphia, PA

Supporting local efforts to activate the waterfront, Numen/For Use, a Croatian-Austrian design collective, will create a large-scale interactive installation, its first in the U.S. at the Race Street Pier Park in downtown Philadelphia.

Pop Up SLAM – $400,000 – STREB Inc. – Brooklyn, NY

The STREB Lab for Action Mechanics (SLAM) will expand its unique programming offsite, creating “Pop Up” SLAM adaptable action zones which can occupy a myriad of public spaces including parks, vacant lots and parking lots. This project will also incorporate the design by Norwegian architecture firm Snohetta of a new façade for STREB’s Brooklyn studio.

The Porch at 30th Street Station – $375,000 – University City District – Philadelphia, PA

A vibrant new public space at Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station, the nationʼs second busiest train station and a major gateway to the region, will emerge through collaboration with artists in the design of the space, incorporation of functional art and the installation of a piece of permanent public artwork.

Here is the full list of projects sorted by state:

2012_Grants

The slideshow below presents a detailed analysis of the diversity and composition of the 2012 ArtPlace grants.