October 15, 2011

How Detroit Got $1 Million for Creative Placemaking

Alison Wade, an arts administrator with the Association of Art Museum Directors, New York, has an absolutely fantastic blog called the Art Advocado: Art Education Advocacy. The design is really fun, but the writing and rich content is what makes it so great.

She is doing a series throughout the month of October on ArtPlace grants. ArtPlace is a collaboration of top national foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts and various federal agencies to accelerate creative placemaking across the U.S. Her most recent post highlights three grants projects in Detroit that received a combined $1 million in funding. 

Here is an inspiring excerpt from that post, but be sure to read about all the projects. I really hope Oklahoma attracts one of these grants in the next round. The deadline for applications is November 15. More details here.

At this point it's practically cliche to note how hard the recession hit post-industrial America, and Detroit is the poster child for this particular type of economic decline. It's hard to look (and to look away) from some of the poetically beautiful images of decay that have been documented in this once bustling city. One of my favorite comedians, Eugene Mirman, has even joked that bears will be the ones to gentrify Detroit. But it's not all doom and gloom in the Motor City. New initiatives utilizing the arts to revitalize the city are gaining traction, especially thanks to funding from creative placemaking consortium ArtPlace (our theme for the month of October). ArtPlace believes so strongly in the potential of art to revitalize Detroit that the city was the only funded location that received three grants from the consortium, totalling over $1 million. Read on to find out the who, why and how of ArtPlace in Detroit