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Two new initiatives aim to promote art in cities

A toolkit for cities encourages applying the community supported agriculture model to public art. (Creative Exchange)

Two newly launched initiatives are aiming to help U. S. mayors and cities harness their creative muse.

The Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge is a competition that aims to ensure that arts and culture are not overlooked by cities as they rush to install sensors and high-tech nerve centers.

According to Bloomberg Philanthropies, at least three cities will receive up to $1 million each over two years for temporary public art projects. Cities are encouraged to think expansively. The art installations don’t have to involve paintings and sculptures. They can include performing arts and multimedia presentations. The projects should “celebrate creativity, enhance urban identity, encourage public-private partnerships, and drive economic development.” the announcement says.

U. S. cities with 30,000 residents or more can apply by December 15. Finalists will be notified in February and invited to submit detailed proposals in April. Grantees are to be announced in May 2015. Applications must be submitted by the mayor or chief official of each city and reflect collaborations between cities and artists.

Meanwhile, Creative Exchange, launched in partnership with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, is offering free toolkits, resources and guidance on ways for cities to create pop-up art installations and other small-small scale art projects to liven up public spaces. The project is spearheaded by Springboard for the Arts, an artist-led community group based in St. Paul, Minnesota, according to the organization’s website. The resources include guidance on budgets, fundraising and legal contracts.



Bloomberg Philanthropies

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