Today, the New York Times profiles a truly exciting program spearheaded by the National Endowment for the Arts and supported by HUD. This initiative, ArtPlace, will breathe fresh life into 34 projects across the country, revitalizing struggling communities and vacant buildings by turning them into cultural hubs where artists and creative spirits can gather to practice their craft and promote a more robust economy.
We can’t improve neighborhoods using nothing but bricks and mortar. It’s a simple idea, but it’s a powerful one – one HUD has embraced through a number of its own programs, including the Choice Neighborhoods initiative, which stresses that bringing blighted communities back to vibrancy is about so much more than improving housing. It’s about making sure these neighborhoods have the resources – transportation, employment, public safety, and of course cultural – that they need to thrive holistically.
ArtPlace will weave the creative community – including artists and art groups – into broader attempts to redevelop neighborhoods and improve the economy. And it will do so with the support of a number of private partners. Creativity and enterprise, government and private partnerships: It takes a 360-degree approach to energize the American economy and build bustling neighborhoods of opportunity, and ArtPlace is embracing that reality.