National coalition hopes arts can be engine of recovery

Posted on: September 15, 2011

In Thursday’s (9/15) New York Times, Robin Pogrebin writes, “In the two years since he became chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Rocco Landesman has been trying to make the case that art is an effective linchpin to economic development. Now in a broad effort to build on that thesis, he has helped to enlist an unusual consortium of foundations, corporations and federal agencies that will use cultural enterprises to anchor and enliven 34 projects around the country, from a struggling city block in Detroit to a vacant school in East Harlem. The projects will receive $11.5 million in grants from the foundations and another $12 million in loans from the corporations under the program that is to be financed through the private sector but coordinated in part by federal agencies. The program, to be announced on Thursday and called ArtPlace, aims to integrate artists and arts groups into local efforts in transportation, housing, community development and job creation as an important tool of economic recovery. … Mr. Landesman helped to hatch the program just over a year ago with Luis A. Ubiñas, the president of the Ford Foundation, who is serving as the chairman of the ArtPlace Presidents Council. ‘We need to communicate that the arts are as important as ever, that they can’t be left behind, that they can’t be dropped to the cutting-room floor,’ Mr. Ubiñas said.”

Posted September 15, 2011