ArtPlace grant means business in Miami

Miami lands 3 of 47 creative placemaking grants from ArtPlace, a national initiative supported by Miami-based Knight Foundation

Wynwood Arts District business owners use funding to engage in neighborhood improvement

MIAMI, FL -- (June 12, 2012) -- ArtPlace has awarded funding to help accelerate the transformation of Miami’s Wynwood Arts District, including one that crosses over from art into business.

The grants for creative placemaking were among 47 announced today by ArtPlace, in 33 communities across the United States. The aim of ArtPlace is to drive community revitalization by putting arts at the center of economic development.


"ArtPlace: helping create a sense of place via the arts: " by Marika Lynch on KnightBlog

The Wynwood Arts District Association will use $140,000 to launch a Business Improvement District, where local property and business owners fund projects to enhance the neighborhood. Focusing on security and improving the streetscape, the Business Improvement District will enable Wynwood to continue its impressive growth, which in the space of a decade has become South Florida’s epicenter for arts and creative businesses.

“Miami’s cultural community has shown how the arts can revitalize a community. It’s great to see local business owners – some of them artists, some of them not – engage in this process,” said Matt Haggman, Miami program director for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which funds ArtPlace. “This project will have immediate benefits for Wynwood, but just as importantly it will strengthen community engagement in a way that will pay off for years.”

ArtPlace is an initiative of 11 of America’s top foundations, including Knight Foundation, working in conjunction with the National Endowment for the Arts and seven federal agencies. To date, ArtPlace has raised almost $50 million to work alongside federal and local governments to transform communities with strategic investments in the arts.

"Across the country, cities and towns are using the arts to help shape their social, physical and economic characters," said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. "The arts are a part of everyday life, and I am thrilled to see yet another example of an arts organization working with city, state and federal offices to help strengthen and revitalize their communities through the arts. It is wonderful that ArtPlace and its funders have recognized this work and invested in it so generously."

ArtPlace is making another investment in the Wynwood Arts District, with a $385,000 grant to The Light Box at Goldman Warehouse, which supporters call a true home for artists in the community. This 12,000 square-foot space includes a shared workspace, a flexible 150-seat theater, an ample rehearsal room, galleries and shared meeting space. The ArtPlace grant will support the development of technical and artistic training, rental and new artistic programs for the space.

The third and final ArtPlace grant in the Miami area goes to the Bass Museum of Art for “TC: Temporary Contemporary,” a public art projects program that will bring recognized contemporary artists to create temporary, site-specific artist projects within the City Center/Arts District, a roughly 40-block district located within the South Beach area of Miami Beach. ArtPlace has awarded the Bass Museum of Art with a grant of $220,000, recognizing the project’s ability to bring new vibrancy to the area.

“The Miami projects receiving ArtPlace funding exemplify the best in creative placemaking,” explained ArtPlace’s Carol Coletta. “They demonstrate a deep understanding of how smart investments in art, design and culture as part of a larger portfolio of revitalization strategies can change the trajectory of communities and increase economic opportunities for people.”

ArtPlace received almost 2,200 letters of inquiry from organizations seeking a portion of the $15.4 million available for grants in this cycle.  Inquiries came from 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

In September, ArtPlace will release a new set of metrics to measure changes over time in the people, activity and real estate value in the communities where ArtPlace has invested. 

Participating foundations include Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Ford Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, Knight Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Rasmuson Foundation, The Robina Foundation and an anonymous donor. In addition to the NEA, federal partners are 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.

A complete list of this year’s ArtPlace awards can be found at

About Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit

CONTACT: Tim Halbur, 415.948.1398

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit