ArtPlace America, a collaboration among 14 foundations, 8 federal agencies, and 6 financial institutions,named 97 finalists that have been selected for consideration for their 2014 grants to support creative “placemaking.” Centrum Foundation and the Fort Worden Public Development Authority in Port Townsend have been named candidates for this prestigious award.
The concept of placemaking is aimed at leveraging the creative potential already present in a place so that it can support economic diversity in a community, providing multiple points of entry and interaction for people of all incomes. It also creates interesting places that capitalize on distinctive qualities inherent in the location and fosters connections among people and across cultures.
In each of the proposed projects, the arts are to play an explicit and intentional role as part of strategies to help shape their communities’ social, physical, and economic futures. In total, ArtPlace received 1,270 letters of inquiry. The projects were proposed for communities of all sizes across the country, with 25% of the communities describing themselves as rural; 5% as suburban; and 70% as urban. Of the finalist projects, 78% of them have been proposed by organizations that have never before been an ArtPlace finalist (including Centrum and the Fort Worden PDA). To date, ArtPlace has invested $42.1 million to 134 projects in 80 communities of all sizes across the US.
The Port Townsend project includes support in the design of a master plan for the redevelopment of Fort Worden State Park into a national center for arts and culture. Program and capital investments are included. The project will involve local and regional community members, and Fort Worden stakeholders in an intensive, participatory design process to expand artist residences, cultural and educational programs, and placement of public art.
ArtPlace’s grantees will be announced in June 2014, one month after the Fort Worden Public Development Authority assumes its co-management roleover the Campus at Fort Worden in partnership with the Washington State Parks Commission. ArtPlace grants range from $100,000 to $750,000. Centrum and the Fort Worden PDA’s project requests $475,000 in funding plus an option for capital investments in the campus in later years.
ArtPlace participating donors include the Barr Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Ford Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, William Penn Foundation, Rasmuson Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Surdna Foundation, and two anonymous donors.
Two other projects from Washington State were invited to the final round of consideration by ArtPlace. They are the Environmental Coalition of South Seattle (ECOSS) and the Seattle Housing Authority.