Investing in art’s ability to connect, inspire, and transform people and places.
Art and creative expression are powerful tools, and not just for creating works to be visited in a museum or gallery. They can become embedded in the fabric of communities, impacting how neighbors connect with one another and how communities become more vibrant and improve quality of life.
Organizations nationwide are trying to unlock this power of art and creativity to transform their communities. This movement, known as creative placemaking, continues to gain momentum. Since 2011, ArtPlace America, a national initiative in which Barr has participated since 2013, has been working to accelerate that momentum and expand the impact of this work.
As of 2016, ArtPlace comprises a group of 15 foundations, eight federal agencies, and six financial institutions, collaborating on a 10-year initiative to position arts and culture as a core sector in overall community development and planning processes. The national organization is one of Barr’s first partners in implementing our new Arts & Creativity strategy of joining arts with other sectors to foster creative problem-solving, broaden arts participation, share new resources for the arts, and forge new cross-disciplinary alliances. ArtPlace is also a first example of the kind of targeted national engagement Barr will pursue in the years ahead: closely aligned with our strategy, ArtPlace offers opportunities to bring new intellectual and financial resources to Massachusetts, and it provides a platform to share the effective work being done here.
Through its National Creative Placemaking Fund, ArtPlace has supported more than 230 planning and development projects in more than 150 communities across 43 states since 2011. The projects funded by ArtPlace are diverse, with 10 already in Massachusetts and Boston, including: support for Department of Play to enliven Boston’s cultural planning process; the development of the Fairmount Cultural Corridor and Upham’s Corner in Roxbury, spearheaded by Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative; public art on The Greenway; ArtWeek Boston; Somerville’s ARTfarm; and Hyde Square Task Force’s Artes Pa’Lante, a festival activating the rich cultural heritage of Jamaica Plain’s Latin Quarter.
Projects like these across America are great examples of how art and creativity are helping to develop and strengthen the social, physical, and economic fabrics of communities. It is our privilege to partner with ArtPlace. They are helping to advance a thriving, dynamic Commonwealth and its potential to both benefit from and impact work elsewhere.
To support creative placemaking grants, research, and field-building through ArtPlace America.
- Year Awarded: 2015
- Amount: $3,000,000
- Term: 24 months
- Program: Arts & Creativity
ArtPlace America is a 10-year project to position arts and culture as a core sector of community planning and development by supporting creative placemaking across the country.
Strategy: Join arts with other sectors to foster creative problem-solving, broaden arts participation, share new resources for the arts, and forge new cross-disciplinary alliances.