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Bloomberg Philanthropies Launches Next Public Art Challenge for U.S. Cities

Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced a new round of its Public Art Challenge. Mayors of U.S. cities with 30,000 residents or more are invited to apply for up to $1 million in funding for temporary public art projects that address important civic issues. Submissions for dynamic works of art across all disciplines will be considered. Proposed projects will be evaluated on their ability to generate public-private collaborations, celebrate creativity and urban identity, and strengthen local economies.

The foundation’s first Public Art Challenge, announced in the fall of 2014, received submissions from more than 230 cities. Proposals covered a range of issues and social themes including neighborhood safety, environmental sustainability, and promoting city identity. In 2015, four projects were awarded $1 million each to execute projects over a two year period in Gary, IN; Spartanburg, SC; Los Angeles, CA; and the New York Capital Region through a joint project by the cities of Albany, Schenectady and Troy.

The Inaugural Public Art Challenge generated significant activity across the four regions:

    • $13 million catalyzed for local economies
    • 10 million views
    • 245 partners helped implement the projects including businesses, nonprofits, government agencies and community members
    • 820 people employed through full-time and part-time positions
    • 1,300 volunteers contributed their time and talent to the projects
    • 490 programs and activities like tours, workshops and lectures

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 program encourages mayors to partner with artists, elevating the value of including the creative sector when developing solutions to significant urban issues.

In Mike’s Words: “The Public Art Challenge brings people together to look at issues from new perspectives and uncover new solutions. The winning projects from the first competition all made a real and lasting impact in their cities. We’re looking forward to seeing what ideas emerge from this year’s competition and how they can help to build a strong future for communities around the country.”

Learn more and apply here

Read the Fast Company feature here

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