ArtsPartners of Central Illinois, Inc. one of 80 grantees selected nationwide
[Peoria, Illinois] The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announces 80 Our Town grant awards totaling $4.995 million and reaching 44 states and the District of Columbia. ArtsPartners is one of the grantees and will receive $50,000 to conduct Art and Soul, neighborhood-level art and culture planning for heritage neighborhoods in the City of Peoria.
Through Our Town, the NEA supports creative placemaking projects that help transform communities into lively, beautiful, and sustainable places with the arts at their core. The grantee projects will improve quality of life, encourage creative activity, create community identity and a sense of place, and help revitalize local economies. All Our Town grant awards were made to partnerships that consisted of a minimum of a not-for-profit organization and a local government entity.
Art and Soul partners, including the City of Peoria, Peoria Park District, Dream Center Peoria and Tri-County Regional Planning Commission will engage residents of historically low income, minority, inner city neighborhoods of Peoria, IL in professionally supported master planning to create neighborhood level arts and culture plans that will express the talents, culture, and creativity of the people that create that space. In addition to planning for the future, partners will expand existing programs to support and nurture the arts in targeted neighborhoods.
“Cities and towns are transformed when you bring the arts – both literally and figuratively – into the center of them,” said NEA Chairman Landesman. “From Teller, Alaska to Miami, Florida, communities are pursuing creative placemaking, making their neighborhoods more vibrant and robust by investing in the performing, visual, and literary arts. I am proud to be partnering with these 80 communities and their respective arts, civic, and elected leaders.”
“ArtsPartners was so pleased to have partnered with the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission on this grant and both of our organizations are thrilled that our community will be the recipient of NEA Our Town funds,” said ArtsPartners Executive Director Suzette Boulais. “This grant will allow us an opportunity to set in motion creative placemaking programs that will encourage resident creativity in underserved areas aimed at celebrating diverse cultures through plans for murals, musical practice and performance space, and sculptures in a public setting. Creative placemaking is key to building any successful community and we enthusiastically look forward to improving and enhancing our own community through a series of arts-related activities.”
The NEA received 317 applications for Our Town that were assigned to one of three application review panels based on their project type; arts engagement, cultural planning and design, or non-metro and tribal communities. Art and Soul received an Our Town grant award. With only 80 grants emerging from the 317 applications, or a success rate of 25 percent, competition was strong, a testament to the artistic excellence and merit of the Art and Soul project.
For a complete listing of projects recommended for Our Town grant support, please visit the NEA web site at arts.gov.
The mission of ArtsPartners of Central Illinois is to increase the vitality of arts and culture in the area. ArtsPartners was founded in 1999 as a non-profit organization funded in part by the dedication of 2.5% of the collected restaurant tax, through a cooperative agreement between the City of Peoria and the Peoria Civic Center Authority. Operational funds are also received from the Illinois Arts Council, an agency of the State of Illinois. For a complete calendar of upcoming arts events, visit the ArtsPartners website at www.artspartners.net.