NEIGHBORHOOD ALLIES RECEIVES $470,000 TO LAUNCH TEMPORARY PUBLIC ART AND PLACEMAKING PILOTLeave a Comment
The Heinz Endowments and The Hillman Foundation have awarded $470,000 to Neighborhood Allies to support the Temporary Public Art and Placemaking Pilot Program.
The Temporary Public Art and Placemaking Program will produce multiple public art projects throughout Neighborhood Allies’ six target neighborhoods. It will serve to reduce the challenges of blight, harness creative cultural potential, and help reenergize and reshape how residents imagine their neighborhoods. The projects themselves will vary, dependent on the interests, needs, aspirations, and vision of both the artists and communities.
Neighborhood Allies will work with lead partner, the Office of Public Art to manage collaborative project teams of artists and community-based organizations and help facilitate community engagement surrounding the creation of these temporary public art projects and, on a greater scale, the surrounding placemaking efforts.
“Placemaking” is defined as a community-based approach to reimagining existing places and creating dynamic shared spaces. The ultimate goal of placemaking is to capitalize on existing cultural and community assets to improve health, happiness and well-being by building agency into the community, increasing the sense of belonging, and changing the narrative and imagination about what community is and can be. Arts and cultural activities, such as this program’s public art installations and cultural events, can serve as the catalyst to animate and enliven public space. Placemaking has the power to rejuvenate structures and streetscapes, strengthen local businesses, enhance public safety, and bring people of all ages, ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds together.
“While they are not new approaches, placemaking and public art are powerful and impactful community building tools. Cities across the nation are beginning to recognize that connecting local artists, businesses, and stakeholders may be more successful, impactful, equitable and ultimately more empowering than traditional planning methods”, says Neighborhood Allies President, Presley Gillespie, “Most importantly, this project will incorporate meaningful resident engagement and capacity building, while restoring cultural vibrancy.”
Community based organizations and artists will be selected for participation in the program through two separate calls. The first, an RFP for community organizations launched today. Applications can be found on Neighborhood Allies and Office of Public Art’s websites. The RFQ for artists will be launched in January once community organizations are chosen.
To build the capacity of the community organizations and artists engaged in the program, Neighborhood Allies and Office of Public Art are partnering on the development of the Placemaking Academy, which is part workshop, design studio, and training session. The Placemaking Academy will train and coach artists and community-based organizations on the process of implementing temporary public art and placemaking projects throughout the city of Pittsburgh. The entire process will give organizations and artists the necessary knowledge base, networks, and training to execute future neighborhood public art and design projects.
About Neighborhood Allies
Our mission is to support the people, organizations and partnerships committed to creating and maintaining thriving neighborhoods. Our vision is a Pittsburgh with healthy neighborhoods that are thriving, resilient and livable for all. For more information, visit www.neighborhoodallies.org.
About the Office of Public Art
The Office of Public Art raises awareness of and builds capacity for public art in the Pittsburgh region through technical assistance and educational programs. Founded in 2005, they are a public private partnership of the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council and the City of Pittsburgh Department of City Planning. For more information, visit www.publicartpittsburgh.org