California Arts Council

State of California

New Investment Model "ArtPlace" Links Public & Private Funders in NEA-driven Collaboration
8 of 34 major new initiative's grantees are California organizations; a new spin on the creative economy is introduced

Published: 10-06-2011

In an unprecedented private-public collaboration, 11 of America's top foundations have joined with the National Endowment for the Arts and seven federal agencies to establish ArtPlace, a nationwide initiative to drive revitalization in cities and towns with a new investment model that puts the arts at the center of economic development.

California's locations/grantees are:

  • Berkeley: Berkeley Repertory Theatre
  • Los Angeles: GOOD Ideas for Cities; Watts House Project
  • San Francisco: Intersection for the Arts
  • 14 Bay Area Counties: Creative Work Fund
  • San Jose: 1st ACT Silicon Valley; ZER01
  • Yolo County: YoloArts Art & Ag Project

In a shift from earlier approaches to economic development and the arts, ArtPlace neither treats the arts as an add-on nor expects development to follow on its own from investments in cultural projects. Instead, ArtPlace supports projects in which cultural groups operate in concert with other community partners, private and public. By leveraging the arts and culture with all of a community's other existing assets, ArtPlace aims to help communities achieve vibrant growth while doing more with less.

As an example, in San Francisco, real estate developer Forest City is partnering with Intersection for the Arts to redevelop four downtown acres that include the old San Francisco Chronicle building, empty parking lots and vacant warehouses. These partners have already begun converting the properties into a profitable hive of film and digital-media businesses, artists' workshops, social-entrepreneur offices and cultural event space.

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