Creative Placemaking Gets $1M Local Boost
Publication Date: June 15, 2012
The national ArtPlace funding collaborative has selected three exciting
Philadelphia projects for grants totaling more than $1 million. WPF is a member
of ArtPlace, and has invested significantly in their re-grant program.
Philadelphia grants announced this week include: $450,000 to Asian Arts Initiative for a Social
Practice Lab; $375,000 to University City
District to integrate art into its new public space at 30th
Street Station; and $200,000 to the city’s Office
of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy for an interactive art
installation on the Delaware Waterfront.
ArtPlace consists of
eleven national and regional foundations, six of the nation’s largest banks,
and eight federal agencies – including the National Endowment for the Arts. To
date, the collaborative has raised almost $50 million to work alongside federal
and local governments to transform communities through strategic investments in
"It is an exciting time to
have ArtPlace working in Philadelphia," said WPF president, Jeremy Nowak. "Culturally-driven development practices
show great promise for our city, and we think that the national focus
brought by ArtPlace will help to leverage additional investments in
The Asian Arts Initiative will use their ArtPlace grant to create a
Social Practice Lab that will commission work from creative individuals and
organizations in Chinatown and Chinatown North.The goal of the Social Practice
Lab is to encourage artistic excellence and innovation while building
relationships, encouraging neighborhood development and effecting positive
change within the community.
“The funding will allow us to move forward with capital renovations to
create artist studios in our building, and to host a cohort of
artists-in-residence in our neighborhood in the upcoming year,” said Gayle Isa,
executive director of Asian Arts Initiative. The organization’s multi-tenant
arts facility serves as an anchor and a catalyst in the development of the
Chinatown North neighborhood.
The University City District’s grant will support urban design upgrades
and art installations at “The Porch”, a new half-acre public space at
Philadelphia's 30th Street Station, the second busiest train station in the
country. An Artist will be part of a planning process for the redevelopment of
the site and will create art to enliven the plaza. The Porch will create a new
town square for a rapidly expanding new neighborhood around the site.
“We will invite exceptional artists to engage creatively with our site,
with our audience, and within our neighborhood context,” said Prema Katari
Gupta, University City District’s Director of Planning and Economic
Development. “Art will bring beauty,
reflection, and delight to The Porch, as the site continues its evolution.”
The grant to the city’s Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative
Economy will bring an unusual installation by the Austrian artist/design
collaborative Numen/For Use to the
central Delaware Waterfront next summer. The installation, an enormous web of
interconnected netting, will focus attention and excitement on the waterfront
at Race Street, supporting local efforts to enliven the waterfront.
“By investing in the arts, Philadelphia is expanding its economy,
quality of life and future.” This
project will enhance the newly re-developed Race Street Pier while drawing even
more visitors to all of the existing attractions on the Delaware Waterfront. I
also congratulate the other awardees and look forward to the realization of
their projects that will benefit even more Philadelphia citizens and
"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 an organization 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."
“The Philadelphia projects
receiving ArtPlace funding exemplify the best in creative placemaking,” said
ArtPlace’s Carol Coletta. “They demonstrate a deep understanding of how 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.”
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.
A complete list of this year’s ArtPlace awards can be found at www.artplaceamerica.org.