ArtPlace injects Twin Cities with $1.3 million in grants

ArtPlace, the same organization which funded a major community development project along Twin Cities central lightrail corridor, is now funding four new cultural initiatives in the Twin Cities. Each of these projects is aimed at bringing creative placemaking to urban communities, and incorporating the arts into city planning.

Listen to an interview with ArtPlace's Director Carol Coletta:

Here's how the projects break down:

Who: Native American Community Development Institute

What: Anpetu Was'te Cultural Arts Market

How Much: $435,000

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This grant will be used to construct a pedestrian plaza on Franklin Avenue at the LRT station. The market will connect the Ventura Village and Seward neighborhoods while also creating spaces for performances and vendors. The grant includes commissions for four public art pieces for the plaza, which will serve as a gateway to the American Indian Cultural Corridor.

Who: Intermedia Arts and the City of Minneapolis

What: Creative Citymaking

How Much: $325,000

As a result of this grant four artists will be placed in residence in the Minneapolis Planning Division, where they will use their creative artistic talents to tackle the transportation, economic, environmental and social issues facing Minneapolis.

"The arts aren't just for theaters and museums: they're for our streets, our neighborhoods and our daily lives in every corner of our city, " said Mayor R.T. Rybak. "Thanks to the generosity of ArtPlace, visionary arts organizations in Minneapolis that focus on serving low-income communities and communities of color will have the resources they need to engage in the creative place-making that we already see coming to fruition downtown."

Who: Public Art Saint Paul and the City of Saint Paul

What: City Artists In Residence

How Much: $300,000

Building on the past several years' work of Saint Paul's Artist-in-Residence Marcus Young, this grant will bring in two additional artists, involving them in conversations on the shaping and programming of public spaces. This could manifest itself in ways that effect some of the basic systems of the city, from its water and infrastructure to daily social interaction.

Who: Pillsbury House + Theatre

What: Arts on Chicago

How Much: $250,000

The goal of "Arts on Chicago" is to build upon the presence of artists and arts-related businesses already present in the neighborhood to create a stronger, more vibrant community. The grant will fund 20 art projects, while also working to build a sustainable method for continuing these projects in years to come.

"I've loved this neighborhood for the past 17 years; it's an incredibly diverse, mind-expanding, alive, creative place to live and work," says Pillsbury House + Theatre co-director Noel Raymond. "Unfortunately, the true character of the neighborhood is not always reflected in media portrayals or, sometimes, in the physical landscape on Chicago Avenue. Artplace will help us bring awareness and transform the physical space, so that the energy and strengths of these neighborhoods are really recognized."

In announcing the new grants, which total $15 million nationwide, ArtPlace's Director Carol Coletta said: "These projects all exemplify the best in creative placemaking. They demonstrate a deep understanding of how 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."