ArtPlace awards Philly $1.2M in creative community development grants

ArtPlace grant
The University City Science Center’s Department of Making + Doing was one of four local projects to receive an ArtPlace grant. (Credit: Facebook).

Philadelphia received $1.2 million in grants from ArtPlace America to create four public space “creative placemaking” projects, the city announced on Monday.

“We are committed to beautifying and increasing the quality of life in our neighborhoods,” Mayor Michael Nutter said in a statement.

“Thanks to the generosity of ArtPlace America, we will be able to do so by leveraging the strength of our arts and culture community.”

Philly garnered the most grant dollars of any city chosen by ArtPlace, a collaboration of foundations, banks and federal agencies that funds art with the goal of revitalizing communities.

“ArtPlace America recognizes the central role arts and cultural activities can have in the revitalization of American cities.” chair of ArtPlace America’s Presidents’ Council Rip Rapson said in a statement.

“ArtPlace America is also continuing to break new ground in drawing together some of the nation’s leading foundations to think – in a concerted way – about how these kind of projects can become more widespread.”

Philadelphia’s FringeArts on the Waterfront was awarded $400,000 for the construction of an outdoor plaza and year-round performance space at the organization’s new location on the Delaware River waterfront.

ArtPlace gave $310,000 to the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation for them to transform Penn’s Landing’s Boat Basin into a “river stage” in the hopes of launching a cultural and economic redevelopment of the waterfront area. That project is scheduled for completion in July 2014.

The Philadelphia City Planning Commission received $335,150 for arts-focused marketing campaign Destination Frankford, which will publicize the neighborhood’s growing arts scene and burgeoning commercial corridor.

ArtPlace awarded $150,000 to the University City Science Center for The Department of Making + Doing, which will unite local art and tech organizations Breadboard, The Hacktory, Public Workshop and NextFab Studio with community members to create a unique and versatile temporary structure along Market Street.

“These awards are a testament to the strength of the arts in Philadelphia,” Chief Cultural Officer Gary Steuer said in a statement.

“The projects showcase the creativity of our arts community and their ability to enhance our public spaces in innovative ways.”

The four projects were selected from over 1,200 applications.

“These projects will serve as a portal, turning public spaces into places that weave the arts into people’s everyday lives and make Philadelphia an even more vibrant city,” said Dennis Scholl, Vice President of Arts for The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.


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