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ArtPlace Grants to Build Art Communities

ArtPlace_MAP_OCD_trans-520x337ArtPlace America, the Brooklyn-based organization that funds “placemaking” projects, “in which art and culture plays an explicit and central role in shaping communities,” has announced 55 grants totaling $14.7 million. The grants cover 79 communities, some rural, in 31 states. Since 2012, the ArtPlace has given 189 grants totaling $56.8 million.

Like United States Artists, which gives annual grants of $50,000 to an artist in each state, ArtPlace is a collaboration among numerous foundations in an effort to offset funding cuts from the National Endowment for the Arts. ArtPace supporters include 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.

Projects in the Southeast that will receive funding include:

Elsewhere, A Living Museum in Greensboro, North Carolina, will have $200,000 to produce site-specific works in four alleyways and green-spaces near its space in a former thrift store. Projects will be commissioned from more than 20 artists, designers, and collectives.

Coleman Center for the Arts, an artist-run nonprofit in York, Alabama, receives $200,000 to partner with the University of West Alabama’s James Suttles Entrepreneurship Institute. The project, called Pop Start, will provide space for economic experimentation combining the practices of start-up incubation with pop-up retail.

The City of Little Rock gets $345,000 to relocate three arts organizations—the ballet, symphony, and theater—into new facilities along a moribund Main Street. The ballet and symphony will have storefront practice spaces and will engage passersby with rehearsals on the street and a speaker that will amplify performances.

The College Hill Alliance in Macon, Georgia, has been given $125,000 for programming that will showcase regional makers in the Macon Maker Festival.

I.D.E.A.S. 40203 in Louisville, Kentucky, receives $250,000 to create and program a Creative Innovation Zone in the former Sheppard Square housing project, which has been demolished to make way for a more intimate, mixed-income development. By 2015, 220 families are scheduled to return to the neighborhood, about half of whom will be under the age of 25. The project will include two residencies, each of which will consist of four artist/innovators.

Clarksdale Revitalization Inc., in Clarksdale, Mississippi, receives $350,000 to create the Crossroads Cultural Arts Center to preserve the region’s rich history of art, writing, and music, with a focus on African American contributions to the arts. The center will have an art gallery and performance and retail spaces.

The Cooperative Community of New West Jackson in Mississippi gets $75,000 to create the Grenada Street Folk Garden, an urban farm, in the blighted neighborhood. It is intended to merge folk art, ecology, and agriculture to empower the low-income community.

Charlotte Center City Partners in North Carolina has been granted $412,000 to create the Charlotte Rail Trail, a four-mile linear park with public art to be located along a light rail line that will connect 10 neighborhoods, including Charlotte’s downtown.

Central Park NC in Star, North Carolina, receives $400,000 to help diversify the economy of the small town through businesses that focus on the arts and environmental sustainability. It will create the STARworks Center for Creative Enterprises in a 187,000-square foot former hosiery mill.

The Virginia Arts Festival gets $160,000 to create programming for formal, informal, and outdoor venues for residents of the Young Terrace housing development, which is located near two of the festival’s venues, Attucks Theatre and Chrysler Hall.

Coalfield Development Corporation in Huntington, West Virginia, will use its $350,000 grant to repurpose a former factory as a creative hub in the Appalachian region. It will incorporate live-work space for artists and creative small businesses, and offering on-the-job training in craft work utilizing reclaimed materials.

The Barter Theatre in Abington, Virginia, will develop and implement, with nine other rural Virginia communities, will create a regional touring network sharing programmatic and operational resources. Productions will include plays with Appalachian themes, and writers and folk music of the region.

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