Thursday, June 13, 2013

Grants help support arts in rural communities

ArtPlace America, comprising 13 national and regional foundations and six of the country's largest banks, recently awarded 54 grants, including five ranging from $150,000 to $536,740 for "Using Art to Bring New Life to Rural Communities" to organizations in Homer, Alaska; Ajo, Ariz; Lanesboro, Minn.; Prattsville, N.Y.; and Uniontown, Wash. Four other rural communities -- Juneau and Douglas, Alaska; Blue Lake, Calif.; and Neah Bay, Wash. received grants ranging from $250,000 to $500,000, according to a news release from ArtPlace.

"Rural communities often have excellent arts and culture assets that are underutilized, unknown to those outside the area and possibly even falling into disrepair. A relatively small investment can leverage these assets to produce a real improvement in quality of place." George Abbott reports for the Daily Yonder. With so many young people wanting to leave rural America for urban cities, "art is a great method of creating a vibrant and diverse community that will encourage them to stay or return to a rural area. (Read more)

A $200,000 grant to the town of Prattsville in south-central New York will be used to help the local art center and residency recover from Hurricane Irene flood damage, to engage artists-in-residency in becoming involved in town planning and design, and to help the town recover from the disaster through public exhibitions and events, according to ArtPlace. (Photo via Daily Yonder: Prattsville Art Center)

The largest rural grant -- $536,740 -- went to create the Sonoran Desert Retreat Center and Residencies, which will be an arts residency program featuring traditional and contemporary Tohono O'odham and Mexican artists, as well as the tri-national border-themed arts installation, according to ArtPlace.

Another grant, for $313,000, will be used in Lanesboro, Minn. The town of 754 in the southeastern part of the state wants to transform the entire town into an arts campus, which is "the vision of engaging a rural region and its visitors in the arts while simultaneously promoting economic development," reports the Republican-Leader in Preston, Minn. (Lanesboro Arts Center photo: St. Mane Theatre)

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