Thursday, June 14, 2012

Rural communities in Ga., Ky., Maine, N.C., Wis. get public-private grants to create spaces for artists

Several rural communities are getting grants for "creative placemaking" from ArtPlace. a collaboration of eleven large foundations, six large banks and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Artplace has singled out Chattooga County, Georgia, for a grant in an effort to help restore artist and preacher Howard Finster's Paradise Gardensright. The $445,000 grant will be used to maintain Finster's home and art environment in Pennville, a press release said. Finster, who said he was divinely inspired, made works that combined naive, folk and visionary art. He died in 2001.

Other rural communities gettimg grants include Sitka, Alaska, $350,000; Cumberland, Ky., $273,000; Eastport, Maine, $250,000 and Sauk County, Wisconsin, $75,000. Siler City, Sanford and Greenville, N.C., will share $485,000 to house artists at under-capacity manufacturing plants.

“Across the country, our communities are using the arts to help shape their social, physical, and economic characters,” said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. “In rural settings, where people live far apart from one another, the arts can offer an opportunity to come together and share a common experience." The full list of 47 grants is here.

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