An Artful Recovery
(photo credit: John A. Ward)
An artist is what you become when you don’t want a real job, right?
Not even considering what the thousands of productive, tax-paying professionals working in the arts would have to say to that, Rocco Landesman, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, is saying that the arts should be an important part of the economic recovery.
The New York Times reports the creation of a program called ArtPlace, which is supposed to be a model for how arts can be an engine of economic growth. The program will bring together foundations, private corporations, artists and local governments to help fund projects that range from building a music center and a building for startups in Detroit, to turning an abandoned public school in Harlem into housing for artists and their families.
Detroit gets $1.3M in grants to test development through arts
A new national initiative has awarded three Detroit cultural organizations a total of $1.33 million to stimulate redevelopment along the Woodward Corridor.
The funds are part of a pilot program — one being closely watched by top federal officials — to reward and encourage the successful use of art to jump-start economic development in struggling neighborhoods.
In its first year, ArtPlace will invest $11.5 million in 34 projects in 25 cities nationwide. It will also be supported by a $12 million loan from major financial institutions. In a sign of the initiative’s sharp interest, Detroit won more dollars than anywhere except New York City, which got $1.6 million.
The arts are key to making big-city neighborhoods come alive, said National Endowment for the Arts head Rocco Landesman, who came up with ArtPlace.
Continue @ The Detroit News
ArtPlace Awards $600K to Fund Local Creative Placemaking
ArtPlace, a new collaboration of top national foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts and various federal agencies, announced today the awarding of $600,000 to accelerate creative placemaking initiatives in Philadelphia, part of a larger $11.5 million investment across 34 projects nationwide.
$250k of ArtPlace funding will be directed toward the new Creative Assets Mapping Database, currently being developed by The Reinvestment Fund in partnership with the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy and the University of Pennsylvania’s Social Impact of the Arts Project. Envisioned as a comprehensive effort to identify and promote arts, culture, and creative assets in Philadelphia, the mapping tool, representing a range of agents active in the city’s creative economy, will be used to inform planning, public and private investment, marketing, and policy decisions. The National Endowment for the Arts is also supporting the project with a $250k grant through its new Our Town program.
I read an article recently that said, “For each negative encounter in a day, people need five positive interventions to keep up their happiness quotient.” I can verify the accuracy of this positivity ratio from personal experience.
Last week, The Washington Post blog published an article about Adams Morgan being named one of “America’s Top Artplaces 2013”. The blog mentioned that I had written the Adams Morgan portion of the ArtPlace report that bestowed this honor and that my company Pink Line Project had been a partner in LUMEN8Anacostia, which had received funding from ArtPlace last year. An anonymous person calling himself “JackStar” wrote a comment about me in response to the article that included this line:
“This woman has done far more to debase the art scene in the city rather then enhance it.”
I knew full well that anonymous comments on the Internet were not to be taken seriously and that I should simply ignore them. However, this one seemed like it could have been written by someone I knew given its wording and I recognized the writing style from cranky comments on other Internet articles that had mentioned me. I naively thought I might be able to engage him in a meaningful conversation because he seemed to be interested in my exploits enough to write about them. My legal training kicked in and I composed a point-by-point response to the cranky commenter’s allegations that pointed out all the flaws in his argument and that outlined well-documented evidence to the contrary. Part of me was convinced that I could change his mind about me.
Then yesterday, I received this in an email:
“You’ve done so much for the arts in this city that I’m delighted to have the opportunity to reciprocate in a small way.”
This unsolicited second opinion directly contradicted JackStar’s comment and was written by a beloved figure in the DC music scene who was giving me some very good advice unrelated to the cranky comment situation.
I kicked myself for having spent so much time and mental energy on something so negative and insignificant. Looking back over the past few days, I remembered that I had (1) walked in the woods with Massoud, one of the most generous and kind people I have ever met, (2) practiced hot yoga with my brilliant friend Kate with whom I regularly have incredibly intense and insightful yoga mat conversations, (3) brainstormed with folks from a great DC museum to figure out new and creative ways to connect people to an amazing installation that’ll soon become part of their collection, (4) shared meals with various people who run successful small businesses, publish books, make great music and art, build websites that show young women that they are pretty enough, and generally make cool shit happen in this city. The positivity ratio in my life was sky high!
I finally came to my senses and stopped feeling angry about the cranky commenter when I realized that not only would I never change his mind no matter how logically I laid out my counter-argument, but that I should not have given so much weight to the opinion of someone who didn’t have the courage to reveal himself and to engage in the kind of meaningful dialogue that makes all of us better people. Instead, I should have focused on all of the awesome people in my life who live their lives in service to others, who create beautiful things, and who make worthwhile contributions to the world. These are the people who inspire me every single day and who create a high positivity quotient for everyone around them and whose examples I should aspire to follow.
City Receives ArtPlace Grants to Support Creative Place-Making
Mayor Nutter announced that the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy (OACCE) will receive a $200,000 grant from ArtPlace, a new national collaboration of foundations, banks and federal agencies formed to accelerate creative place-making across the U.S. OACCE is one of three organizations in Philadelphia receiving support in 2012: University City District (UCD) and Asian Arts Initiative are also receiving ArtPlace support for their place-making projects.
The ArtPlace collaboration 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 (NEA). To date, ArtPlace has raised almost $50 million to work alongside federal and local governments to transform communities through strategic investments in the arts.