Region 5 encourages applicants ‘creative placemaking grant’

Staff Writer

The Region Five Development Commission (R5DC) is looking to inform local people about what they can do to get funds from the ArtPlace National Creative Placemaking Fund.

R5DC hosted a breakfast and informational session Oct. 21 with ArtPlace representatives F. Javier Torres and Leila Tamari.

R5DC said the two were at the event to answer questions so people were more encouraged to apply for funding in 2017.

Torres said the purpose of ArtPlace is to make sure the art and culture community has a say in community development.

“In the same way we always make space at that planning table for whoever’s talking about housing or food systems or education systems or public safety or transportation, we believe there always needs to be a seat at that table for the arts and culture community,” Torres said.

The National Creative Placemaking Fund is meant to fund creative placemaking in communities across the country.

According to the National Endowment for the Arts creative placemaking is when, “partners from public, private, non-profit, and community sectors strategically shape the physical and social character of a neighborhood, town, city, or region around arts and cultural activities.”

One of the projects funded through the National Creative Placemaking Fund is in Ashland, Mass. There it funded a project to raise education about pollutants from a chemical dye site in the area. Work included changing street light hues and having a multi-colored garden that reflect the pollutants in the soil, the garden would also help with remediating the soil.

Torres said unlike traditional non-profits, ArtPlace is looking to fund many different types of projects that work with everyone from governments to for-profit developers to faith-based groups.

“If we have invested in something that looks like what you’re doing before, we will likely not invest in it again,” Torres said.

Anyone looking for more information about the National Creative Placemaking Fund can contact R5DC Regional Development Planner Dawn Espe at [email protected] or (218) 894-3233.