City Plans to Apply for New Federal Art-Related Grant

by ekramer on January 25, 2010

Louisville plans to apply for a new funding program from the National Endowment for the Arts. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer reports.

Last week, NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman announced the agency will award a limited number of grants for up to $250,000 to cities for arts-related projects, including planning arts districts, promoting artists and using art to enhance parks and neighborhoods.

Landesman unveiled the grant program, which will come through the agency’s Mayors’ Institute on City Design, during the US Conference of Mayors’ recent meeting.

Louisville Metro government will pursue a grant, says Mayor Jerry Abramson’s spokesman, Chris Poynter.

“Louisville is definitely going to be looking at applying for these and determine what we need to be funded,” he says. “So, we have lots of things on the table that potentially could be good for this money.”

Poynter says the city could apply for funds related to the Louisville Loop, a trail planned to encircle the city and be part of the city’s parks.

“One of the key components of that that we think is important is when we design the Louisville Loop, we’re going to need bridges,” Poynter says. “And those bridges should just not be normal, standard bridges; they should be works of art that are done by local artists. We want art on the loop.”

Poynter also says the funds could be applied to the city’s public-art project that is being unveiled next month. Mayor Jerry Abramson announced in 2008 that the city was spending $50,000 to develop the plan.

Poynter says the city had originally wanted to unveil the plan last fall.

“It took us a little bit longer than we’d expected because we wanted to identify a funding stream — a way to physically fund public art in this city,” he says. “But we didn’t want to institute new fees or new taxes.”

Poynter says the city will identify that funding stream next month.

MORE ON THE MAYOR’S INITIATIVE ON PUBLIC ART

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