Bloomberg Philanthropies names Holyoke national finalist for art grant

Jul 21 2018

Bloomberg Philanthropies listed the City of Holyoke and El Corazon de Holyoke as finalist for the $1 million Public Arts Challenge Grants.

HOLYOKE — Bloomberg Philanthropies on Wednesday named the El Corazon de Holyoke (The Heart of Holyoke) and the city, along with 14 communities nationwide, as finalists for a Public Arts Challenge Grant.

Holyoke competed with more than 200 applicants for the coveted grants of up to $1 million. Bloomberg Philanthropies will name three winners in the fall. The applications hail from communities with 30,000 or more residents.

El Corazon de Holyoke and the city are seeking a grant of $732,000 for creating visual art, performances “and cultural programming that celebrates the culture and identities of Latinx neighborhoods surrounding the city’s main street,” namely, the stretch from the entrance of I-391 to an underpass on Lyman Street.

“This project aims to use the arts to improve neighborhood perceptions, support pride and catalyze economic opportunity,” the city’s application states.

El Corazon¬†de Holyoke was initially funded through a National Endowment for the Arts “Our Town”¬†grant, with additional funding from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

In 2015, artists Caryn Brause and Joseph Krupczynski, of the Center for Design Engagement, created “Arrivals,” a digital display. The piece was installed below a rail bridge near Lyman and Main Street.

The Public Art Challenge falls under former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s American Cities Initiative.

In a statement, the philanthropy said the Arts Challenge Program “aims to foster creative collaborations, address civic issues and support local economies through public art.”

The current round of grants will “focus on critical issues facing our country in exciting and creative ways.

In a statement, Mayor Alex Morse said the city’s inclusion as a finalist “spoke volumes” about the planning that went into Holyoke’s application.

“This effort has been a community partnership that includes residents of South Holyoke and the Flats, and organizations such as Nueva Esperanza, the Center for Design and Engagement, and the city,” Morse said.

“We welcome the next stage in the competition and look forward to putting our best foot forward,” the mayor said.

The other finalists include Anchorage, Alaska; Austin, Texas; Baltimore, Maryland; Camden, New Jersey; Coral Springs, Florida; El Paso, Texas; Honolulu, Hawaii; Jackson, Mississippi; Miami-Dade County, Florida; Santa Rosa, California; St. Louis, Missouri; and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

“This year’s applications will reflect a diversity of creativity and experimentation for the public to experience, and the willingness of civic leaders to embrace artists in addressing complex urban challenges,” said Kate D. Levin, who heads Bloomberg Philanthropies’ art team.

Once awarded, the winning communities must complete their fully-funded projects in two years.



Apr 2024