City of Spartanburg awarded $25,000 Our Town grant

The National Endowment for the Arts today announced that the City of Spartanburg will receive a $25,000 Our Town grant to support an arts and cultural plan for Northside, a 350-acre neighborhood undergoing redevelopment. The city’s partners in this grant award are  Hub-Bub,  The Chapman Cultural Center, Mary Black Foundation and Northside Leadership Council.

An aerial view of the Northside neighborhood. Photo by Carroll Foster, Hot Eye Photography

Engagement and cultural planning activities with artists and arts organizations will complement other planning efforts for Northside to ensure that arts planning is embedded in the redevelopment process for the neighborhood.

Through Our Town, the NEA supports creative placemaking projects that help transform communities into lively, beautiful and sustainable places with the arts at their core. The grantee projects will encourage creative activity, create community identity and a sense of place, and help revitalize local economies. All Our Town grant awards were made to partnerships that consisted of at least one nonprofit organization and a local government entity.

“This is an exciting time to announce the Our Town projects as a national conversation around creative placemaking advances and deepens,” said NEA Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa. “The NEA leads on this topic not only through our funding but through webinars, publications and research. With these resources, we will help to ensure that the field of creative placemaking continues to mature, enhancing the quality of life for communities across the country.”

The NEA received 254 applications for Our Town this year, and the Spartanburg grant is one of only 59 awarded. The grants, awarded in 36 states and totaling $4.725 million, will fund projects that engage the arts to help shape the social, physical and economic character of communities. Since the Our Town program’s inception in 2011, the NEA has supported 190 projects totaling more than $16 million in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Previous South Carolina Our Town grant recipients are the Town of Pendleton (2012, $25,000) and the City of Charleston (2011, $100,000).

The NEA’s awards announcement includes a complete list of Our Town projects and descriptions, grants listed by state and by project type, and creative placemaking resources.

Applications and guidelines for Our Town 2014 will be available at in September 2013 with a deadline of early January 2014.