Philadelphia City Planning Commission, Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, FringeArts and University City Science Center receive grants to animate public spaces.


Philadelphia, May 20, 2013 – ArtPlace America announced the award of grants totaling $1,195,150 to implement four projects that animate public spaces through art in University City, Frankford, and the Delaware River waterfront.  The projects, River Stage at the Waterfront, FringeArts on the Waterfront, Destination Frankford, and The Department of Making + Doing, were chosen from more than 1,200 applications as exceptional examples of creative placemaking.


“We are committed to beautifying and increasing the quality of life in our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “Thanks to the generosity of ArtPlace America, we will be able to do so by leveraging the strength of our arts and culture community.”


ArtPlace America is a collaboration of leading national and regional foundations, banks and federal agencies committed to accelerating creative placemaking – putting art at the heart of a portfolio of strategies designed to revitalize communities.


Philadelphia was awarded the most grant dollars of any community, followed by San Jose, CA ($750,000) and St. Paul, MN ($700,000).  Combined with previous 2011-2012 awards, ArtPlace America has invested $2.8 million in Philadelphia communities.  The 2013 projects use art to connect and animate communities, spark redevelopment, and build civic pride:


FringeArts on the Waterfront, $400,000, FringeArts: FringeArts is awarded $400,000 to construct and activate an outdoor plaza and performance space to serve as a welcoming place for engaging performance, visual art, and socializing year-round at its new location on Philadelphia’s burgeoning Delaware River waterfront.


River Stage at the Waterfront, $310,000, Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC): The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation and its partners will create a spectacular summer event in July 2014 that will re-imagine and transform the Boat Basin at Penn’s Landing into a “river stage”, artistically exploring the industrial history of Philadelphia’s Central Delaware Waterfront in order to activate public spaces, foster civic engagement, and spur economic development. This project will set the stage, literally, for a future in which the waterfront once again becomes a cultural and economic center of activity.


Destination Frankford, $335,150, Philadelphia City Planning Commission: Through the creation of a vibrant public space, artfully designed signage and street furniture, a storefront dedicated to local artists, and an arts-focused marketing campaign, Destination Frankford will increase exposure to Frankford’s growing arts scene, add vibrancy to Frankford’s commercial corridor, and attract new artists, businesses, and residents to Frankford.


The Department of Making + Doing (DMD), $150,000, Breadboard / University City Science Center: DMD will support collaborative place-making activities on the University City Science Center campus in West Philadelphia. DMD partners will leverage combined skills and expertise to design and fabricate a unique, highly visible and versatile POD, or temporary structure, along Market Street. DMD will invite members from the surrounding communities to participate in POD building activities, creating early opportunities for stakeholder development. DMD channels the brain trust and assets of four dynamic Philadelphia-based art, design and technology organizations: the Science Center’s Breadboard program, The Hacktory, Public Workshop and NextFab Studio.


“These awards are a testament to the strength of the arts in Philadelphia,” said Gary Steuer, Chief Cultural Officer for the City of Philadelphia.  “The projects showcase the creativity of our arts community and their ability to enhance our public spaces in innovative ways.”


“ArtPlace America recognizes the central role arts and cultural activities can have in the revitalization of American cities.” Said Rip Rapson, chair of ArtPlace America’s Presidents’ Council. “With this grant award ArtPlace America is directing individual project support to scores of creative, high-impact projects throughout the country.”


“ArtPlace America is also continuing to break new ground in drawing together some of the nation’s leading foundations to think — in a concerted way — about how these kind of projects can become more widespread,” continued Rapson.


“These projects will serve as a portal, turning public spaces into places that weave the arts into people’s everyday lives and make Philadelphia an even more vibrant city,” said Dennis Scholl, Vice President of Arts for The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.


The complete list of 2013/2014 ArtPlace America awards can be found at


About ArtPlace America

ArtPlace America provides grants and loans, supports research, and conducts outreach and advocacy. To date, ArtPlace America has awarded 134 grants totaling $42.1 million to 124 organizations in 79 U.S. communities (and a statewide project in the state of Connecticut).

Foundations participating in ArtPlace America include Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Ford Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The William Penn Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Rasmuson Foundation, The Surdna Foundation, and two anonymous donors.

ArtPlace America also seeks advice and counsel from close working relationships with various federal agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts, the departments of Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Education, and Transportation, along with leadership from the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Domestic Policy Council.

ArtPlace America is also supported by a $12 million loan fund capitalized by six major financial institutions and managed by the Nonprofit Finance Fund. Participating institutions are Bank of America, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Chase, MetLife, and Morgan Stanley.

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