Monday, June 18, 2012

ArtPlace: Creative Placemaking In Rural America

Roadside Culture Stand, The Wormfarm Institute; Katrin Talbot, Verse Wisconsin

Over the past few years we've frequently linked to the work of ArtPlace, a collaborative organization comprised of a number of foundations, federal entities, and banks that operates with a mission to promote creative placemaking across the United States. Unlike other organizations with interest in this term, ArtPlace emphasizes the role of the rural in contemporary American art and culture.

Last week ArtPlace announced 47 new grants, eight of which were specifically allocated, as large grants, to rural projects. In their announcement, "Creative Placemaking: Not Just For Cities,"  we learn of how these eight projects promise to manifest cultural and economic sustainability for their regions:
For decades, rural communities in the U.S. have seen steep declines in population as the next generation of youth follows employment to larger metropolitan areas. For these small towns and counties, there is a deep need to attract and retain talent – and art often “punches above its weight” when it comes to making places more vibrant so that people want to stay, says Carol Coletta of ArtPlace.

“Creative placemaking isn’t just for cities,” explained Coletta.  “These rural arts projects demonstrate that smart investments in art, design and culture as part of a larger portfolio of revitalization strategies can change the trajectory of communities and increase economic opportunities for people, whether the setting is rural or urban.”
Please find the supported projects below, with links to their work, and an informational trailer for the project. Much more information on ArtPlace can be found here:
Art-Force Program – $485,000 – Public Art Collaborative – Siler City, Greenville and Sanford, NC
Artists, art, and design are at the center of manufacturing renewal in three North Carolina communities through this cross-sector program that places artists in residence at under-capacity manufacturing plants and supports the production of artist-conceived and designed works.

Artsipelago – $250,000 – Quoddy Tides Foundation d/b/a Tides Institute & Museum of Art – Eastport, ME
Betting on art as the centerpiece of an economic comeback, Artsipelago will rebrand and connect a number of established efforts as well as develop artist live/work space and studio space to drive arts participation and ultimately talent retention in this rural, multicultural, coastal archipelago.

The Higher Ground Project – $273,000 – Higher Ground Coalition/The Appalachian Program at Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College – Cumberland, KY
This participatory community arts project and the coalition behind it will transform spaces to catalyze economic development by connecting art, design and commerce in a rural Appalachian coalfield county.

Paradise Garden Revival – $445,000 – Chattooga County, Georgia – Summerville, GA
The restoration and rehabilitation of the home studio and outdoor art environment of famed American folk artist Howard Finster in Summerville, Georgia will create an exciting anchor to increase cultural tourism and entrepreneurial economic development.

Sitka Arts Campus – $350,000 – Alaska Arts Southeast, Inc. (AAS) – Sitka, AK
Alaska Arts Southeast will transform a closed National Historic Landmark college into a multidimensional arts campus, bringing new life to rural Southeast Alaska.
Magic City Lofts – portion of $1,000,000 – Artspace – Minot, ND
In Minot, North Dakota, Artspace is developing a mixed-use arts facility that will bring new vibrancy to the city╩╝s flood-ravaged historic downtown and create a new art gallery featuring Native American artists.

Wormfarm Institute’s Food Chain – $75,000 – Wormfarm Institute – Sauk County, WI
Marrying the local food movement with the arts, Wormfarm Institute will create an arts-infused caravan of mobile farm stands delivering a marketplace of food, art, and ideas throughout its eight-county region

Related Articles:
The NEA And Creative Placemaking In Rural America