July 18, 2018 – Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced that Holyoke has been selected as a finalist in the running to receive up to $732K as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge, a program that aims to foster creative collaboration, address civic issues, and support local economies through public art. More than 200 cities applied, and Holyoke, along with 13 other cities, has been invited to submit a full proposal.
“Bloomberg Philanthropies’ recognition of Holyoke’s project as a finalist in such a competitive program speaks volumes of the planning work being done here. This effort has been a community partnership that includes residents of South Holyoke & the Flats, and organizations such as Nueva Esperanza, the Center for Design Engagement (CDE) and the City. We welcome the next stage in the competition and expect we’ll be putting our best foot forward.” said Holyoke’s mayor, Alex Morse.
The City proposes developing visual art, performances and cultural programming that celebrates the cultural identities of Latinx neighborhoods surrounding Main Street. This project aims to use the arts to improve neighborhood perceptions, support cultural pride and catalyze economic opportunity.
Nelson Rafael Roman, Executive Director of Nueva Esperanza, the South Holyoke based community program highlighting and celebrating the Puerto Rican/Afro Caribbean culture in the City stated “We are proud to partner with CDE and the City of Holyoke in seeking funds that will transform the Puerto Rican Cultural District, creating a sense of ownership and identity for the people who live there. We know that the Bloomberg Foundation will fall in love with Holyoke!”
“We are excited to be collaborating on this project with the City of Holyoke and Nueva Esperanza” said CDE’s creative co-directors for the project Joseph Krupczynski and Caryn Brause. “We know that creating public art through community engagement will build broader public participation and enhance the project’s community impact.”
In February, Bloomberg Philanthropies invited mayors of U.S. cities with 30,000 residents or more to submit proposals for temporary public art projects that address important civic issues, and demonstrate an ability to generate public-private collaborations, celebrate creativity and urban identity, and strengthen local economies.
Proposals received from cities across the country address a range of pressing issues and social themes such as environmental sustainability, immigration, national disaster recovery, and cultural identity. Additionally, the proposals reflect a diverse use of artistic mediums including augmented reality, light installations, murals, and performances.
Bloomberg Philanthropies will select at least three winners from among these 14 finalists in the fall to execute their projects over a maximum of 24 months. The grant is intended to provide catalytic funds as part of a strong, committed consortium of supporters. As such, the Bloomberg Philanthropies grants will cover project-related expenditures including development, execution, and marketing, but will not fund 100 percent of the total project costs.
The Public Art Challenge is a part of Mike Bloomberg’s American Cities Initiative, an effort to help U.S. cities generate innovation and advance policy. The Public Art Challenge allows mayors and artists to join forces to elevate the value of including the creative sector when developing solutions to significant urban issues.
Bloomberg Philanthropies has a proven track record of supporting creative and innovative public art. Over 400 cities have submitted proposals for consideration in the Public Art Challenge since 2014. The foundation’s inaugural Public Art Challenge catalyzed $13 million for local economies across the four winning regions and illuminated civic issues including economic decline, vacancy, water conservation and police-community relations.
More information about the Public Art Challenge can be found on
About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies works in 480 cities in more than 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2017, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $702 million. For more information, please visit www.bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook , Instagram , Snapchat ,and Twitter .
Bloomberg Press Release: https://publicartchallenge.bloomberg.org/…/14-us-cities-ru…/