Culture News

Roosevelt Row Wins National ArtPlace Grant to Fund New Artist Spaces in Downtown Phoenix

It's always nice when Phoenix gets recognized by a national art organization, but it's even nicer when the recognition comes with a little bit of dough. Earlier this week, Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation became one of 55 organizations chosen to receive a grant from ArtPlace, a well-supported association dedicated to supporting creative placemaking across the United States.

See also: Roosevelt Row Launches Late-Night Vampire Hours for Summer in Phoenix

Incidentally, this isn't the first time RoRo has received an ArtPlace grant. The Phoenix organization was gifted a generous $150,000 in 2012 to fund streetscape planning, an evolving artist village, and food/art festival Feast on the Street.

While we have yet to see the evolving artist village or the streetscape come to fruition, Feast on the Street did successfully take over First Street in spring of 2013, and there are plans to widen Roosevelt Row by February of 2015.

This year's grant of $90,000 will go toward developing a series of live/work artist spaces created from repurposed shipping containers. Roosevelt Row CDC has pledged to make the plans for these spaces openly available for others who want to experiment with this model for low-cost development.

The proposition was selected from a pool of 1,270 national application, about 4 percent of which will receive funding. In total, ArtPlace is awarding $14.7 million to projects that span 31 states and cover topics like design, literary arts, performing arts, and visual arts.

"We are thrilled to be able to invest in communities that have recognized the role that the arts can play in community planning and development," says ArtPlace executive director Jamie L. Bennett in a press release. "The range of projects this year reflects the dynamism of the creative placemaking field in this country, and also demonstrates the commitment, imagination, and vision of the community partners who have come together in them."

Let's hope RoRo can fulfill its vision in full this time around.

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Katrina Montgomery