MACON — Mercer University has been named one of 104 national finalists in 72 cities for a 2013 ArtPlace grant. ArtPlace, whose mission is to transform communities by driving vibrancy through investments in the arts, is a collaboration of 13 leading national and regional foundations and six of the nation's largest banks.
Mercer's $1 million funding request to ArtPlace would underwrite renovation of the former Tattnall Square Presbyterian Church, located at the corner of College and Oglethorpe Streets in the College Hill Corridor, into the Tattnall Square Center for the Arts. The proposed center would serve as a community theatre and arts venue, as well as home to the University's Theatre Department. The church property was donated to Mercer in 2011 by the Flint River Presbytery, which owned the facility.
The selected projects represent the best of the more than 1,200 applications from across the country. Finalists were chosen for their potential to have a transformative impact on community vibrancy. Proposed projects run the gamut from temporary art spaces to permanent performance venues, from music festivals to art walks and from streetscaping to artist residencies.
“In this third ArtPlace funding cycle, the proposals just keep getting stronger,” noted Carol Coletta, director of ArtPlace. “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.”
This year's grant recipients will be announced in May. To date, ArtPlace has distributed $26.9 million to 76 organizations in 46 communities across the country. Mercer was also a finalist for an ArtPlace grant in 2012.
“Mercer is pleased to have once again been selected as one of the finalists for funding through ArtPlace. This is a highly competitive program, and the fact Macon is represented in this elite group of national finalists is a testament to the progress that has been made over the last three years in the College Hill Corridor,” said Mercer President William D. Underwood. “Tremendous momentum has been generated through the cooperative efforts of many organizations that are dedicated to improving our community.”
Participating foundations 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 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 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.
ArtPlace funds programs in all 50 states and U.S. territories. Certain ArtPlace funders have a deep commitment to their local communities and have provided funding for specific states or communities. Currently, these include: Akron, Charlotte, Detroit, Macon, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, San Jose, and St. Paul, as well as communities in Alaska, Arizona, California, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin. For more information on ArtPlace visit www.artplaceamerica.org.