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Free creative placemaking guide available from National Endowment for the Arts

NEA Creative PlacemakingThe National Endowment for the Arts has published How to Do Creative Placemaking: An Action-Oriented Guide to Arts in Community Development. The book features 28 essays from thought leaders active in arts-based community development, as well as 13 case studies of projects funded through the NEA’s creative placemaking program, Our Town. How to Do Creative Placemaking is intended as a primer for those interested in bringing the arts to the community development table as a tool—along with housing, transportation, public health and other sectors—to advance revitalization efforts in an authentic way. The book is available for free (as a hard copy or PDF download.) “The book is meant to help people start working with the arts to make their place better,” says NEA Director of Design and Creative Placemaking Jason Schupbach, “We wanted to create something easy to use and full of options for communities to begin doing this work, or to improve what they have already started.” The book is divided into six chapters, “Inclusive Planning + Equitable Development,” “Economic Opportunity,” “Community Identity + Belonging,” “Arts + Government,” “Arts + Physical Infrastructure,” and “Arts + Community Development Organizations.” A sample of the essays: • “Five Lessons Learned for a Successful Public Art Project,” by Americans for the Arts’ Patricia Walsh • “Can Arts Drive Rural Economic Development?” by USDA Rural Development’s Chris Beck and the International Sonoran Desert Alliance’s Tracy Taft • “Ethics of Development: A Shared Sense of Place,” by the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture’s María Lopez de León • “How Can a Planning Authority Work with an Artist to Improve Public Health Outcomes for Residents?” by the City of Fargo, North Dakota’s Nichole Crutchfield Since 2011, the NEA has awarded more than $30 million to support 389 Our Town projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Via: National Endowment for the Arts

Anderson Arts Center and City of Anderson win $75,000 NEA grant for art in park

From The Anderson Independent Mail Article by Kirk Brown

Church Street Heritage ProjectThe National Endowment of the Arts has awarded a $75,000 grant for artwork at the Church Street Heritage Project, which is under construction in downtown Anderson. The grant awarded to the city of Anderson and Anderson Arts Center will help pay for commissioning and installing up to eight pieces of public art, as well as interactive music and oral history recordings. City officials are spending $460,000 on the initial phase of the Church Street Heritage Project. The first round of work on the "pocket park" behind the Mellow Mushroom on Main Street is slated for completion in June. The project is the culmination of a decade-long effort to commemorate the black business district that thrived on Church Street from around 1900 to 1980. "At its heart, the Church Street Heritage Project celebrates what is unique about Anderson. Church Street was a model of economic vitality in the 20th century that would be enviable to any modern city today," Mayor Terence Roberts said in a statement issued by the city. "We are thankful to the NEA for its validation of this project in the form of significant funding and we are proud to have as our partner the Anderson Arts Center." Councilwoman Beatrice Thompson, a longtime advocate for the Church Street Heritage Project, also was pleased to learn of the grant. "It is wonderful to see the effort to honor the cultural and historical significance of Church Street come to fruition. I have a great deal of personal satisfaction and pride as I watch a new generation of leaders work so diligently to see that the past is honored in this meaningful and relevant way," she said in the city's statement. "It will bring the Church Street story full circle as it spurs economic growth and opportunity anew." The city previously received a $60,000 grant from Duke Energy to place ornate story boxes in the park that will explain the area's history. The grant announced Monday also will help pay for the story boxes, as well as sculptures. The money for the Church Street Heritage project is among 64 grants totaling $4.3 million that the National Endowment of the Arts is awarding through its Our Town Program. The endowment received 240 applications related to the program this year. The park in Anderson is the only project in South Carolina that received funding this year, according to the endowment's website. "For six years, Our Town has made a difference for people and the places where they live, work, and play," said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. "Projects such as the one led by the city of Anderson help residents engage the arts to spark vitality in their communities."

Indie Grits Film Festival announces theme, dates and call for visual artists

Indie Grits Film Festival, the Southeast’s premier film and culture festival in Columbia, S.C. for DIY media-makers, will take place April 15-19, 2015, and for the first time, the festival will have a theme: “Future Perfect.” Additionally, 2015’s Indie Grits is calling for visual artists whose work will enhance Columbia’s public spaces during the festival for a multi-faceted exhibit, thanks to funding by an Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The ninth annual Indie Grits, hosted by the Nickelodeon Theatre, South Carolina’s oldest art-house cinema located on Main Street in South Carolina’s capital city, will feature five full days of the best DIY short, experimental, animated and student film, music, food and outside-the-box artistic performances from South Carolina and the Southeast. Indie Grits has twice been named one of MovieMaker magazine’s Top 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World. “Forty percent of attendees from last year’s Indie Grits lived outside of Columbia, and we want to do more to attract even more out-of-town participants,” said Seth Gadsden, co-director of Indie Grits Film Festival. “Our participant and attendance numbers are growing each year, but folks tell us again and again that they want to be able to attend more Indie Grits events while they’re in town. So a five-day format will concentrate all the events you’ve come to love about Indie Grits, plus some events we’re adding, like our brand-new call for artists. We’re hoping a jam-packed festival will mean that more people will bring a critical mass to downtown Columbia during Indie Grits.” Indie Grits Calls for Visual Artists Indie Grits 2015 will build on the artist-in-residence program sponsored by One Columbia for Arts and History, which began at 2014’s Indie Grits and brought artist Amanda Cassingham-Bardwell and her installation art to the festival. The artist-in-residence program will return to Indie Grits 2015, and thanks to an Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the festival seeks proposals from artists inspired by the Future Perfect theme for the festival. Indie Grits seeks installations, sculpture, video, photography, mixed media and any kind of art that speaks to the theme of the festival. Indie Grits will accept 15 – 25 artist applicants for exhibition at the festival. Indie Grits will provide accepted artists and collaborations with modest financial support to facilitate materials, shipping, installation and some other incurred costs, and projects will receive up to $1,000. Projects will be displayed throughout the 2015 festival in various locations downtown Columbia, including Tapp’s Center for the Arts. For more information and the application, visit indiegrits.com/submit/art. Deadline for submissions is Dec. 5, 2014. As always, Indie Grits Film Festival will continue to focus on offering audiences opportunities to see the best new films coming from independent Southern filmmakers with a far-reaching, experimental scope during the festival. Additionally, festivalgoers will enjoy other favorite events like the Spork in Hand Puppet Slam, a concert at the Columbia Museum of Art and the Slow Food at Indie Grits Sustainable Chefs Showcase. For more information on Indie Grits, visit www.indiegrits.com or contact Seth Gadsden, festival co-director at Seth@IndieGrits.com, (803) 254-8324. Follow @IndieGrits on Twitter and Facebook.

Chapman Cultural Center seeking artists experienced in wooden sculptures

The Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg/Chapman Cultural Center is looking for a professional South Carolina artist with experience in woodworking and large 3-D wooden sculptures to participate on a design team for an arts project in Spartanburg S.C. The project would not begin until June 2015 and is contingent upon the Arts Partnership being awarded an Art Works: Design Grant for Livability from the National Endowment for the Arts. The project is part of a larger neighborhood-wide redevelopment initiative to create a “Choice Neighborhood.” The arts project is the next step of a successful cultural planning process funded by an Our Town Grant from the NEA. The plan for the Northside Neighborhood of Spartanburg (pictured above) identified short-term and long-term goals for arts infusion in this underserved neighborhood with innovative approaches to how the arts may be experienced and appreciated. The design team will include neighborhood residents, college students, national arts planners and local arts agencies. The design team will design and build prototypes for permanent impromptu performing venues in the neighborhood. Please submit a resume, up to five images (or a website address) and a checklist identifying the images by July 15, 2014, to jevins@spartanarts.org. Related: Read the 2013 announcement of the Our Town grant. Via: Chapman Cultural Center

Find out how to benefit from a design arts grant or program

This conference call was postponed in October and has now been rescheduled. The South Carolina Arts Commission, in collaboration with the Columbia Design League, will offer South Carolina artists, arts organizations, designers, cities and communities an overview of design arts programs and grants available from the National Endowment for the Arts via conference call on Thursday, Nov. 21, at 10 a.m. Join us to learn more about the variety of design programs offered by the NEA and how your community can benefit from a range of opportunities, including rural design workshops, design project grants, community development through the arts and creative placemaking initiatives. To date, three South Carolina communities have received Our Town grants: City of Charleston, Town of Pendleton and City of Spartanburg (Related: City of Spartanburg awarded $25,000 Our Town grant. Also, read how Spartanburg plans to use this grant: Emphasizing the arts during a neighborhood revitalization.) Jason Schupbach and Ken MayWHAT: Conference call with Jason Schupbach, Director of Design for the National Endowment for the Arts, and Ken May, Executive Director, South Carolina Arts Commission (pictured left to right). WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 21, 10 - 11 a.m WHO SHOULD PARTICIPATE: Artists, designers, and representatives of arts organizations, cities, communities, local government and other institutions interested in funding and program opportunities for design projects. COST: Free PARTICIPATING IN THE CONFERENCE CALL RSVP to Shawna Bauer at sbauer@arts.sc.gov or (803) 734-8687. Please indicate whether you wish to participate by phone or in person.

  • By phone: Shawna will send instructions for connecting to the call
  • In person: Up to 20 seats are available at the South Carolina Arts Commission on a first-come, first-served basis. Reserve your space with your RSVP
PREPARATION FOR THE CALL Review the online guidelines for any of the following design arts programs and grants to determine if the opportunities fit your organization or community:  

Our Town grants available for creative placemaking and design arts projects

Guidelines and application materials are now available online for Our Town, the National Endowment for the Arts' primary creative placemaking grants program. Pending funds availability, grants will range from $25,000 to $200,000. Previous Our Town grant recipients in South Carolina include the cities of Charleston, Pendleton and Spartanburg. (Related: Can your community benefit from a design arts grant or program? Participate in a conference call Oct. 16 to get the scoop on NEA's design arts programs and grants.) Our Town will invest in creative and innovative projects in which communities, together with arts and/or design organizations and artists, seek to:

  • Improve their quality of life;
  • Encourage greater creative activity;
  • Foster stronger community identity and a sense of place; and
  • Revitalize economic development.
Projects may focus on
  • Arts engagement activities including
    • innovative arts programming
    • festivals/performances
    • public art that improves public spaces
  • Cultural planning activities including
    • creative asset mapping
    • cultural district planning
    • master plans or community-wide strategies for public art
    • creative entrepreneurship
    • creative industry cluster/hub development
  • Design activities including
    • design of rehearsal, studio, or live/work spaces for artists
    • design of cultural spaces
    • design of public spaces
    • design charrettes, design competitions, and community design workshops
Other key information:
  • Complete Our Town application guidelines are available in the Apply for a Grant section on arts.gov
  • Application deadline is January 13, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. ET
  • Our Town FAQs provide answers to many questions about the program.
  • A webinar to learn more about this funding opportunity will be held on November 4, 2013 at 2 p.m. ET
  • For program inquiries, please email OT@arts.gov with specific questions and a design specialist will respond.
  • Sample application narratives for these types of projects can be found at arts.gov.
Now in its fourth year, Our Town has provided $16 million to support 190 projects in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. These projects are diverse in geographic distribution, number and types of partnerships, artistic discipline, and type of project. In FY 2013 alone, 35 of the 59 grants supported projects in communities with populations under 100,000. To view a map of all the Our Town projects along with project descriptions and images, visit the Our Town section of arts.gov. Via: National Endowment for the Arts

Can your community benefit from a design arts grant or program?

"From the typeface on this page to the neighborhood in which you live, every object and place is the result of design." -- National Endowment for the Arts Design Arts Program Find out how your organization or community can benefit from a range of design grants and programs offered by the National Endowment for the Arts, including rural design workshops, design project grants, community development through the arts and creative placemaking initiatives. Jason SchupbachJoin the South Carolina Arts Commission as we welcome Jason Schupbach, director of design for the NEA, for a lecture and a conference call about these opportunities. The lecture takes place Oct. 15 at 6 p.m. at the Columbia Museum of Art, and the conference call is scheduled for Oct. 16 at 10 a.m. Read more below about how to participate in one or both events. (Related: City of Spartanburg awarded $25,000 Our Town grant. Also, read how Spartanburg plans to use this grant: Emphasizing the arts during a neighborhood revitalization.)

  • Event #1  October 15  Lecture: Design and Creative Placemaking in America (hosted in collaboration with the Columbia Design League)
WHEN: Tuesday, Oct. 15, 6 p.m., Columbia Museum of Art, 1515 Main St., Columbia WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Anyone interested in how principles of good design can benefit communities COST: $10.00 for non-members, free for Columbia Design League Members RSVP: No RSVP required
  • Event #2 October 16  Conference call: Overview of design arts programs and grants available from the National Endowment for the Arts
WHEN: Wednesday, Oct. 16, 10:00 - 10:45 a.m WHO SHOULD ATTEND/CALL IN: Representatives of organizations, institutions or local governments interested in funding and program opportunities for design projects COST: Free PREPARATION FOR THE CALL Review the online guidelines for any of the following design arts programs and grants to determine if the opportunities fit your organization or community: PARTICIPATING IN THE CONFERENCE CALL RSVP to Shawna Bauer at sbauer@arts.sc.gov or (803) 734-8687. Please indicate whether you wish to participate by phone or in person.
  • By phone: Shawna will send instructions for connecting to the call
  • In person: Up to 20 seats are available at the South Carolina Arts Commission on a first-come, first-served basis. Reserve your space with your RSVP

Emphasizing the arts during a neighborhood revitalization

In July, the National Endowment for the Arts announced that the City of Spartanburg would receive a $25,000 Our Town grant. The NEA recently spoke with Cate Ryba, executive director of Hub Bub, about how the grant will incorporate the arts into revitalization efforts of the low-income Northside neighborhood, and how the grant will work in tandem with a Choice Neighborhood Planning Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. (Related: Can your community benefit from a design arts grant or program?)

NEA: How does this project capitalize on Spartanburg’s unique identity? CATE RYBA: Spartanburg has a long history of supporting the arts. We have a $40 million cultural center that has several art museums and a large performance space. We have several colleges that have art departments that are very active in the community. We have lots of public art around town. But the area where this arts district plan will focus historically hasn’t had a lot of public art or artist housing. It’s a mile away from our cultural center; it’s a mile away from downtown. I think that this project will help bring some of the support and focus and interest in the arts that Spartanburg has in other places to the Northside of our city. [caption id="attachment_8981" align="aligncenter" width="500"]Northside neighborhood, Spartanburg An aerial view of the Northside neighborhood. Photo by Carroll Foster, Hot Eye Photography[/caption] NEA: Why do you think art is important to include in revitalization efforts for low-income communities? RYBA: Art is something for everyone. It’s a great equalizer. It’s really important to include in community redevelopment because it gives people opportunities to see themselves as creative people and their community as a creative place. I think a lot of times art is seen as [something] that’s only for a particular socio-economic set of people. But what HUB-BUB tries to do is bring art to everyone; we try to make everyone feel like they can be an artist. It’s also a big part of education too, which is a huge focus in the Northside community right now. The elementary school in the Northside has the longest school year of any elementary school in the state. They’re almost year-round. I’m hoping that part of this plan will include bringing different art-related activities to Cleveland Elementary School. NEA: How will the Our Town grant complement your recent Choice Neighborhood Planning grant? RYBA: This [Our Town] grant is part of much, much larger planning process for the entire Northside community, which is about 400 acres. The Choice Community Planning Process is looking at where can we put housing, where can we put commercial space, where can we put community parks. [It’s] looking at what assets we have and what’s missing. The city owns about 200 parcels of land in this area and most of it is vacant. So there’s going to be a lot coming out of the ground from a building standpoint over the next ten years. A part of what they’re going to be looking at is what kind of creative assets are in the community. But [initially] this wasn’t really a huge part of it at all. There wasn’t an arts organization like ours working with the city to say, “How can cultural revitalization play a part in this process and also help with economic redevelopment?” [With the Our Town grant] we’re able to bring in someone from the consulting firm that has been hired for the Choice Neighborhood Planning grant who specifically has a background in arts district planning and cultural district planning whereas before, we weren’t going to be able to have that person. NEA: How do you hope the Our Town grant will change the Northside community? RYBA: This grant will help emphasize how the arts can be a part of making the Northside a more successful place to live. I’m hoping it will visibly change the community by [including] public art as part of the plan. I want the residents help us shape the place to include art and to include creativity in that planning process. NEA: How do you view the intersection between art and civic life? RYBA: I think a big part the intersection of art and civic life is about surprise and wonder and making people feel like where they live has a unique identity and a sense of place. And also just entertaining people, and making people think differently about the place where they live and about themselves. [It’s about] making your community feel like a creative, interesting place to live. NEA: Anything else you’d like to add? RYBA: One thing I’d love to see explored with this grant is how can the Northside grow their residents artists. There is a bunch of old mill houses in that area that haven’t been torn down and that the city owns. So could those be repurposed for inexpensive artist housing? I’m interested to see how we can grow our residential community for artists in that area, including for people that [already] live there. It’s always a challenge with redeveloping areas that have a lot of low-income, financial challenges to make sure that people who live there and have lived there their whole lives stay there and feel a part of process. That’s something that’s really important, and I think is a big piece of this grant as well.
Via: National Endowment for the Arts

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. [caption id="attachment_7223" align="aligncenter" width="500"] An aerial view of the Northside neighborhood. Photo by Carroll Foster, Hot Eye Photography[/caption] 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 arts.gov in September 2013 with a deadline of early January 2014.

Milly

Our Town grants available for creative placemaking projects

The National Endowment for the Arts is hosting free webinars on Nov. 6 and Nov. 13 to help organizations learn more about Our Town grants, the agency's primary creative placemaking grants program. Organizations may apply for creative placemaking projects that contribute to the livability of communities and place the arts at their core. An organization may request a grant amount from $25,000 to $200,000. Our Town will invest in creative and innovative projects in which communities, together with their arts and design organizations and artists, seek to improve quality of life, encourage greater creative activity, foster stronger community identity and a sense of place, and revitalize economic development. All applications must have partnerships that involve two primary partners: a nonprofit organization and a local governmental entity. One of the two primary partners must be a cultural (arts or design) organization. Additional partners are encouraged. The application deadline is Jan. 14, 2013. To find out more about the webinars and the grant application, visit the NEA's website. Via: National Endowment for the Arts