FRANKFORT, Ky. — Two Kentucky arts organizations are among 59 nationwide that will receive funding for creative placemaking projects through the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Our Town grant.
Covington Arts, in Covington, will receive $50,000 for a community design project. Covington is one of six Kentucky Cultural Districts. Appalshop, working with the city of Jenkins, will receive $150,000 to support a multi-pronged community arts project.
Through Our Town, the NEA supports creative placemaking projects that help transform communities into lively and sustainable places with the arts at their core. Projects encourage creative activity, develop community identity and a sense of place, and help revitalize local economies. All Our Town grant awards are made to partnerships that consist of at least one nonprofit organization and a local government entity
"Kentucky municipalities applying for and receiving support from the NEA are taking steps to actively strengthen their communities through the arts," said Lori Meadows, arts council executive director. "Creative placemaking projects are revitalizing cities small and large across the country. It's exciting to see that work happening in Kentucky."
In Covington, the NEA grant will support CoSign, an initiative to generate artist-designed storefront signage in the downtown area. Covington Arts will partner with the American Sign Museum and Renaissance Covington to commission local artists and professional fabricators to design, produce and install creative signs for local businesses. The signs will be located in Covington's newly identified economic redevelopment area, highlighting the presence of both the local business and arts sectors. Anticipated project benefits include training and employment opportunities for local artists, targeted engagement of the Hispanic business community, and successful integration of the arts into ongoing citywide revitalization efforts.
In Jenkins, the NEA grant will support the creation of murals, a large-scale photographic installation, and a media-rich walking tour that celebrates the city's cultural history. The public art and walking tour will reflect the city's American coal mining heritage and its evolving contemporary image to present a robust portrait of the place. The temporary and permanent public art installations and multimedia tour will strengthen the cultural identity of the community and will attract visitors from the surrounding Appalachian region.
The NEA will award 59 grants in 36 states totaling $4.725 million to fund projects that engage the arts to help shape the social, physical and economic character of communities. Since the Our Town program's inception in 2011, the NEA has supported 190 projects totaling more than $16 million in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
For more information, visit the NEA's website.
The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, creates opportunities for Kentuckians to value, participate in and benefit from the arts. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.
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