ArtPlace grant to make art and artists an integral part of Minneapolis planning and public spaces

Three unique, arts-driven projects in Minneapolis will receive almost $1 million in ArtPlace grant funding to invest in art, design and culture as part of a larger portfolio of revitalization strategies that increase economic opportunities for people.

The three organizations receiving grant funds were Intermedia Arts, the Pillsbury House + Theater and the Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI). The three Minneapolis projects were among almost 2,200 letters of inquiry ArtPlace received from organizations from the 50 states, District of Columbia, and the American territories seeking a portion of the $15.4 million available for grants in this cycle.

Intermedia Arts, a non-profit arts and cultural center in South Minneapolis will receive a $325,000 grant from ArtPlace for a project that will embed artists in the city’s planning process. The program focuses on Minneapolis communities that are undergoing critical change and are ripe for the infusion of artists and diverse perspectives. Possible projects to receive artist involvement include the development of transit corridors, planning around environmental issues and the transformation infrastructure.

Pillsbury House + Theatre will receive $250,000 to establish a new Chicago Avenue Arts District. Chicago Avenue runs through one of the poorest neighborhoods in the Minneapolis metro area, and has seen new investment in the past year by a handful of arts groups. The Chicago Avenue Arts District will help forge these emerging assets into a creative network. The project will engage community residents, artists, youth, businesses, arts nonprofits and others in creating and consuming art.

The final ArtPlace grant in Minneapolis is also the largest, with $435,000 dedicated to create a new front door for the Native American Cultural Corridor. The half-mile corridor was established in 2010 with the goal of revitalizing a low income neighborhood with the densest urban population of Native Americans in the country. The undeveloped light rail station area at one end of the Corridor has been a barrier to connecting the heart of the Cultural Corridor to transit and the adjacent Seward Neighborhood. This project will develop a unique cultural gateway and arts market at the station to welcome people to the corridor and serves as a unique community gathering space. Public art, festivals and food will make it an inviting entrance to the neighborhood.

ArtPlace is a new national collaboration of 11 major national and regional foundations, six of the nation’s largest banks, and eight federal agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts, to accelerate creative ‘placemaking’ across the U.S. To date, ArtPlace has raised almost $50 million to work alongside federal and local governments to transform communities with strategic investments in the arts.

In September, ArtPlace will release a new set of metrics to measure changes over time in the people, activity and real estate value in the communities where ArtPlace has invested with its grants. A complete list of this year’s ArtPlace awards can be found at artplaceamerica.org.

Published Jun 12, 2012