Two SC groups are finalists for national ArtPlace America grants

Two SC groups are finalists for national ArtPlace America grants

Two South Carolina organizations — A Call to Action in Bluffton and conNECKted in Charleston — are among 80 finalists that ArtPlace America will consider for its 2016 National Creative Placemaking Fund.

Each of the finalist projects has proposed an opportunity for arts and culture to help address a community development challenge or opportunity related to agriculture and food; economic development; education and youth; environment and energy; health, housing; immigration; public safety; transportation; or workforce development.

The 80 projects represent six percent of the 1,361 initial applications that ArtPlace reviewed. The projects are proposed for 65 different communities across 35 states and two US territories, including seven states where ArtPlace has not yet funded a project. South Carolina is one of those seven states.

Eighty percent of this year’s finalists are first-time applicants to the National Creative Placemaking Fund.

A Call to Action project summary

South Carolina sits between Charleston and Beaufort to the north, Hilton Head and Savannah to the south.  Construction, commerce and tourism are booming in this historic and cultural district. Currently, most of the downtown revitalization is driven by outside investors with money, vision, and connections to capitalize on the historic significance or architectural charm of a few neglected, undervalued blocks. Existing residents tend to benefit primarily from selling their properties to outsiders who then convert them into viable, profitable venues. A Call to Action, a local artist-led community-based organization, will implement a pilot initiative at the local AME church transforming it into a neighborhood clearing-house connecting residents with agencies, businesses, artists, and peers. This hub will support local homeowners in gaining access to the resources necessary to benefit from downtown revitalization.

conNECKted project summary

Charleston S.C., has been praised for its preservation of buildings and its quality of life in travel and business magazines. Simultaneously, this city has seen an increase in economic and education disparity for its residents. For the first time in 40 years, Charleston has elected a new mayor interested in closing the gap of opportunity for the City. conNECKted will implement a pilot project in east Charleston from Romney St, crossing Hampton Park to Huger St, the Harmon Field Park, parts of Gadsden Green, Peninsula West and Radcliffe neighborhoods, to reach East Calhoun St, the Maritime Center area and back north. After the closing of most of the local schools in this predominantly low-income community, conNECKted will design temporary “Public Squares” with “Imagination Tables” in order to capture and elevate residents’ priorities to ensure access to quality education in their neighborhoods and present creative concepts to the administration and local school board.

Each of the finalists will now complete a more extensive application and schedule a site visit with a peer expert and an ArtPlace staff member.  These peer experts will come together as an in-person panel to make recommendations this fall for the $10.5 million that ArtPlace will invest in this round of the National Creative Placemaking Fund.

To date, ArtPlace’s National Creative Placemaking Fund has invested $67 million in 227 projects across 152 communities of all sizes.

The complete list of 2016 finalists may be found here.

A complete list of our National Creative Placemaking Fund investments to date may be found here.

Via: ArtPlace America