"From the exhibitions of African-American art in Houston’s Project Row Houses to the amazing folk sculpture of the Heidelberg Project in Detroit to Candy Chang’s amazing Before I Die project that originated in New Orleans and has now spread elsewhere, artists are bringing life and purpose back to forgotten districts," says Kaid Benfield. "While there may be some risk that 'creative placemaking' could become a passing fad without a lasting legacy, I don’t think so: when it’s homegrown, it’s real."
Benfield highlights some of the recipients of the $15.2 million in grants awarded today by ArtPlace America.
"As anyone who has read me before knows, I strongly support anything that helps make urban neighborhoods more welcoming and thriving for current and future residents and visitors," he adds. "It not only makes for better communities; it also makes for a healthier environment, because cities with their more centrally located and walkable neighborhoods are far less polluting and consumptive of resources on a per-person basis than the wasteful pattern of suburban sprawl that has for so long dominated our landscape."