On Monday, ArtPlace America announced the award of grants to four Alaska organizations, two of which are in Juneau: Perseverance Theatre and Sealaska Heritage Institute. The other two grants went to the Anchorage Park Foundation and Bunnell Street Arts Center.
The four projects were chosen from more than 1,200 applications as exceptional examples of “creative placemaking,” a term that describes the way art can revitalize and transform communities. A total of 54 organizations received grants around the country, ranging from $750,000 to $33,000.
Perseverance Theatre’s $250,000 award will be used to present the Rainforest Festival, a six-week, three-play summer festival at the theater and other locations in downtown Juneau. In addition to the presentation of full theater productions, the festival could include new play development work, public readings of works in progress and training opportunities.
Sealaska Heritage Institute will direct their award from ArtPlace to help fund construction of the Walter Soboleff Center in Juneau, as reported here: juneauempire.com/local/2013-05-21/sealaska-receives-475k-award-toward-soboleff-center. A portion of the $475,000 grant will be used to hire three master-apprentice teams to create artwork for the center, including an indoor clan house screen and house posts.
Both local groups were named as finalists in January.
In Homer, the Bunnell Street Arts Institute’s $150,000 grant will support an Artist In Residence program in Homer’s Old Town neighborhood, with a goal of supporting projects such as murals and sculptures that will help revitalize and energize the area. Read more here: www.bunnellarts.org
And in Anchorage, the Anchorage Park Foundation and their creative partner The Light Brigade, a multidiscplinary group of designers, dancers and artists, will use their $204,635 grant to fund a series of multi-media art “interventions” in public spaces. Read more here: anchorageparkfoundation.org/current-projects/light-brigade.
Artplace, a collaboration of 13 national foundations and six banks, is an initiative established to accelerate creative placemaking across the U.S. through grants and loans, research, communication and advocacy. According to a report published by the National Endowment for the Arts, creative placemaking refers to efforts to bring all different types of community populations together to shape the character of a neighborhood, city or region around arts and cultural activities.
To date, ArtPlace America has awarded $42.1 million in 134 grants to 124 projects in 79 communities across the U.S..
For the complete list of this year’s ArtPlace America awards, visit www.artplaceamerica.org.