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$190,000 Grant from The Heinz Endowments Supports Public Art and Communities – A Program Connecting Artists and Communities to Develop Collaborative Projects

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The Heinz Endowments recently awarded Neighborhood Allies and the Office of Public Art a $190,000 grant to carry out its second public art collaboration – Public Art and Communities 2.0! We are beyond excited to once again connect artists with community organizations and to support the creation of public art projects that make an impact in communities.

Larimer Stories by artist John Peña in collaboration with the Larimer Seniors. Resident interviews completed by artist John Peña in collaboration with the Larimer Consensus Group produced powerful stories which were formed the basis for this collaborative artwork, which was exhibited over the course of year on the front lawn of the EECO Center in the neighborhood

During our first collaboration with the Office of Public Art on the Temporary Public Art and Placemaking program (TPAP) and Placemaking Academy, we supported the creation of 6 public art projects – one in each of our target neighborhoods. The program served not only to harness creative cultural potential, help reenergize and reshape how residents imagine their neighborhoods, and reduce the challenges of blight but also to provide participating organizations and artists the necessary knowledge base, networks, and training to execute future neighborhood public art and design projects. Read more about the completed projects, participating artists and community organizations.

This time, we are back and partnering with the Borough of Millvale for another round of impactful projects! Public Art and Communities: Placemaking Strategies at Work, is a new two-year program to engage public art as a strategy to realize community goals and objectives. Building on the success of the highly popular TPAP program, Public Art and Communities (PAC) will partner artists with community organizations to develop public art and placemaking projects that align with Neighborhood Allies’ Healthy Neighborhoods Framework and build on existing planning initiatives. 

Our Goals:

  • Aid community organizations in increasing capacity to engage in arts-based strategies when addressing community goals.
  • Create the environment for impactful, collaborative art projects between artists and communities.
  • Deepen conversation around the potential for artists and organizations to address complex community challenges in the public realm together.

Public Art and Communities kicks off with a series of workshops which will introduce the program to interested community organizations that work in and adjacent to our target neighborhoods and provide a space to explore themes, sites, and audiences for public art and placemaking projects in their communities. The first workshop takes place in Millvale on November 16th and is open to organizations throughout the Triboro Ecodistrict. Find out more info at our Eventbrite link. Know of an organization in the Triboro Ecodistrict that may be interested? Send them our link! Additional workshops for the Hilltop, Hill District and East End Communities will follow in Spring 2020.

We could not do this work without the support of others. Thank you to The Heinz Endowments for believing in us and in this project from the very beginning. From TPAP to PAC, they’ve stood by us. And thank you to our new supporter – National Endowment for the Arts – for providing us with a $150,000 grant through the Our Town, creative placemaking grants program! We can’t wait to see what this new project brings to our communities!


The Heinz Endowments is devoted to the mission of helping our region prosper as a vibrant center of creativity, learning, and social, economic and environmental sustainability. Core to our work is the vision of a just community where all are included and where everyone who calls southwestern Pennsylvania home has a real and meaningful opportunity to thrive.

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