As I have reported here before, the NEA is the leading national light when it comes to socio-economic development of our communities through developing our creative economy. And, they have hit the leading edge again.
It was announced in the New York Times on September 15 that a consortium of stellar national foundations (like Rockefeller, Mellon, Ford - those kind of guys) and the NEA has been formed to accelerate the revitalization of the cities and towns America through an $11 million investment in 34 projects around the nation in creative placemaking projects. Check out the NEA white paper on creative placemaking.
This is an awesome program, and great kudos goes to the NEA and the private foundations that have jumped on board. Further, they recruited dynamo Carol Colletta (formerly of CEO's for Cities) to lead the charge. This is going to be a very successful program, and gives all of us an opportunity to increase the awareness of our creative assets to transform the vibrancy and economic growth of our locales.
You can read all about it and see the projects selected at ArtPlaceAmerica. Also, take note that they are now accepting letters of intent until November 15 for their next round of projects.
I am proud to say that there are two projects in my home state of Wisconsin. The first one I am involved in as Executive Advisor to the Creative Alliance Milwaukee. It is called MiKE, putting innovation in Milwaukee. The Alliance is providing project management, along with other support.
The other project is being spearheaded by WormFarm Institute in rural central Wisconsin. These people are incredibly inventive - an evolving laboratory of arts and ecology. Check out their project, Farm/Art Dtour.
It will be great fun to watch the progress of ArtPlace America!