ArtPlace America’s National Creative Placemaking Fund is a highly competitive national program that invests money in communities where the arts help drive community development projects related to such issues as agriculture and food, economic development, education and youth, environment and energy, health, housing, immigration, public safety, transportation and workforce development.
Small City Center, in partnership with Hung Dao CDC, was named one of 80 finalists for the Hung Dao Community Center & Heritage Gardens in Lower Algiers. Those 80 projects represent 6 percent of the more than 1,300 applications that ArtPlace America reviewed. Winners will be announced in December and will share in a total of $10.5 million.
Students and faculty of Small City Center will provide technical assistance and design service for the 6.5-acre park, which when completed will tell the story of the community through plantings native to Vietnam and how these plants relate to regional differences in food and culture. The park will offer youth education, community gardening, culinary demonstrations, food markets, recreation and cultural events, including the Tet Festival, the annual Vietnamese New Year’s celebration.
Small City Center will now complete more extensive application materials and schedule a site visit with an ArtPlace staff member and a national peer expert. ArtPlace America will convene these peer experts for an in-person panel meeting this fall before announcing the winners in December.
To date, the program has invested $67 million in 227 projects across 152 communities. The complete list of 2016 finalists may be found here.