The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Jun 12, 2012

ArtPlace: helping create a sense of place via the arts

Posted by Marika Lynch

Above: A mural at Wynwood Walls. Photo Credit: Flickr user wallyg

Today, the national funder ArtPlace announced support for new projects in Miami, Philadelphia, Detroit, St. Paul, San Jose and other communities across the United States.

ArtPlace funds projects that put the arts at the center of community revitalization and is supported by Knight Foundation, other leading foundations, banks and government agencies.

In Miami, funds will help launch a new Business Improvement District in Wynwood - which has grown from a warehouse district into the center of the local contemporary arts scene over the past decade. If property and business owners approve, they’d ultimately tax themselves to fund projects to beautify the neighborhood and make it safer.

“Art has been at the core of the revival of Wynwood,” Matt Haggman, Miami program director for Knight Foundation, told the Miami Herald. “Art gives an area a sense of place and an identity, which serves as a catalyst for economic development.”

ArtPlace is also funding Wynwood’s the Light Box at Goldman Warehouse, a multi-disciplinary cultural center and meeting space, and the Bass Museum’s project to commission site-specific, works in public spaces to engage residents and visitors in the center of Miami Beach.

Four other Knight communities will also receive funding for the following projects:

* In San Jose, the city will launch four pilot projects for the Illuminating Downtown Program, which uses art and technology  to transform the landscape;

* In St. Paul, the city will expand an effort to embed artists in the Departments of Public Works, Planning, and Parks, so that they can help shape public spaces;

* In Philadelphia, an unusual installation of interconnected nets will take place along the Delaware Waterfront in the summer of 2013, supporting local efforts to promote the waterfront. The University City District (UCD) and Asian Arts Initiative are also receiving ArtPlace support.

* In Detroit, the Institute of Arts will turn its front lawn into a “cultural living room,” as part of an effort to rethink the museum's indoor and outdoor spaces. Power House Productions and the Flint Public Art Project are also receiving ArtPlace support.  

For a full list of projects, visit

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