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The New York Times covered the debut of ArtPlace, a new private-public consortium to accelerate creative placemaking across the U.S.

The foundations involved are 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, Rasmuson Foundation, The Robina Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation and an anonymous donor.

It is unusual for foundations to join forces in this way to back a single cause. “It seemed too important not to do,” said Don Michael Randel, president of the Mellon Foundation.

In addition to the National Endowment for the Arts, 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. Federal partners do not provide funding to ArtPlace but participate in the ArtPlace Presidents Council and Operating Committee meetings, ensuring alignment between high-priority federal investments and policy development and ArtPlace grants.

ArtPlace will also be 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, Chase, Citi, Deutsche Bank, MetLife and Morgan Stanley.

“We felt if we worked together and coordinated our efforts, it would have a multiplier effect,” said Rocco Landesman, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.

“We need to communicate that the arts are as important as ever, that they can’t be left behind, that they can’t be dropped to the cutting-room floor,” Luis A. Ubiñas, the president of the Ford Foundation said. “Too many people think of the arts as luxuries, as jewels, things that may not be necessary in times of need, things that can be put off. The arts are inherently valuable, and they’re also part of what’s going to get us out of this economic problem we’re in.”