The Clay and Jay Barr Education Center, home of the Virginia Arts Festival, lies within a one- mile quadrant that includes Chrysler Hall, the historic Attucks Theatre and the Young Terrace community. The ArtPlace grant will support the Festival’s presentations of world-class artists, education outreach and community events in traditional settings such as the Robin Hixon Theater, Chrysler Hall and Attucks Theatre and gives the Festival the opportunity to expand into public spaces, formal and informal settings, and outdoor spaces in the Young Terrace community.
“I am proud of the Virginia Arts Festival’s accomplishment in receiving this most prestigious grant,” said Norfolk Mayor Paul D. Fraim. “The Festival has made it a priority to leverage its core strengths in performing arts and art education to make a significant contribution to the Young Terrace neighborhood. I applaud the Festival on their civic vision, generosity and teamwork, and congratulate them on a job well done.”
“The Virginia Arts Festival believes in the power of the arts to transform lives and change communities. We are honored that ArtPlace supports our vision and commitment to a diverse and underserved neighborhood that is adjacent to a thriving downtown and vibrant arts district. This grant gives us the ability to expand our work in the Attucks Theatre and our education outreach partnership in P.B. Young and Tidewater Park Elementary schools and Ruffner Middle school”, stated Virginia Arts Festival Director, Robert W. Cross.
Executive Director Jamie L. Bennett announced $14.7 million in 55 grants to creative placemaking projects that will work in 79 communities of all sizes across 31 states. In these projects, the arts will play an explicit and intentional role in helping to shape communities’ social, physical, and economic futures. These grants represent 4% of the 1,270 letters of inquiry ArtPlace received this year and include eight states in which ArtPlace has not previously funded. This year, 31% of ArtPlace’s grants will go to projects working in rural communities, which compares with 17% last year. This year’s projects include design, literary arts, performing arts, visual arts, and, for the first time ever, a media arts-focused project. This year’s grants include a notable uptick in creative interventions for improving physical environments through recycling, green initiatives, and site remediation, as well as a number of projects aimed at disaster recovery and resiliency. In addition to continuing to invest in community-and neighborhood-specific projects, ArtPlace has also increased its investments in projects that collect a series of local interventions under a regional strategy, an approach that has emerged in both rural and urban settings. Including this year’s grants, ArtPlace has invested a total of $56.8 million in 189 projects in 122 communities across 42 states and the District of Columbia since 2012. Mr. Bennett said, “We are thrilled to be able to invest in communities that have recognized the role that the arts can play in community planning and development. The range of projects this year reflects the dynamism of the creative placemaking field in this country, and also demonstrates the commitment, imagination, and vision of the community partners who have come together in them. While each community’s story is individually compelling, it is even more powerful to consider the projects together as a national movement that continues to gain momentum and scale.”
Partners who are committed with Virginia Arts Festival to the “Beyond the Concert Hall” project include : The City of Norfolk, Attucks Theatre, Chrysler Hall, Chrysler Museum, Dance Theatre of Harlem, d’ART Center, Rhythm Project, Todd Rosenlieb Dance, United For Children, United Way and Norfolk Public Schools.
“The ArtPlace grant will also support the partnership of United For Children and the Virginia Arts Festival’s work with the Rhythm Project (the Festival’s year-sound steel band program) at P.B. Young Elementary School and additional music and dance opportunities. We are thrilled that this grant allows us to expand the Rhythm Project into the school day curriculum, providing valuable mentoring and leadership training for these students,” said Sarah Bishop of United Way/ United For Children.
ArtPlace is a collaboration among the Barr Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Ford Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The William Penn Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Rasmuson Foundation, The Surdna Foundation, and two anonymous donors.
ArtPlace seeks advice and counsel from its close working relationships with the following federal agencies: the National Endowment for the Arts, the US Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Education, and Transportation, along with leadership from the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Domestic Policy Council.
ArtPlace has additional partnership from six major financial institutions: Bank of America, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Chase, MetLife and Morgan Stanley.