This morning, the hardworking community members at Mesa Arts Center and International Sonoran Desert Alliance in Ajo received some very good news.
ArtPlace, a national initiative that supports creative placemaking through grants and loans around the country, announced that 104 applicants in 72 communities in 33 states were named finalists for grants.
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According to Artplace, these finalists were "chosen for their potential to transform communities through placing art and culture at the heart of portfolios of integrated strategies that drive vibrancy and diversity."
"In this third ArtPlace funding cycle, the proposals just keep getting stronger," wrote Carol Coletta, director of ArtPlace in a statement released this morning. "It is testimony to the growing interest in creative placemaking across the country, as well as the capability of artists and their community partners to do this work."
The 2013 grant recipients will be announced in May. Last year, Roosevelt Row in downtown Phoenix received an ArtPlace grant that will be used to fund streetscaping, arts programming, and an artist village (stay tuned to Jackalope Ranch for more details on that soon). To date, ArtPlace has distributed $26.9 million to 76 organizations in 46 communities across the country.