The Arts Council for Long Beach will receive $150,000 to produce performances for the A LOT series, performance-based artwork designed to activate vacant lots in various Long Beach neighborhoods and engage residents in the arts, thanks to a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The NEA recently awarded 80 Our Town grant awards totaling $4.995 million in 44 states and the District of Columbia.
Through Our Town, the NEA supports creative placemaking projects that help transform communities into lively, beautiful, and sustainable places with the arts at their core. Grantee projects improve quality of life, encourage creative activity, create community identity and a sense of place, and help revitalize local economies. All Our Town grant awards were made to partnerships that consisted of a minimum of a nonprofit organization and a local government entity.
The A LOT program will offer free performances in dance, music, theatre and spoken word by Long Beach-based artists and organizations in non-traditional venues in neighborhoods that traditionally have been underserved by arts organizations. The project is intended to increase access to the arts and broaden the audience to include both the intentional viewer and the casual passerby. These performances will take place in several areas around Long Beach and happen over the course of the next two years.
The goal is to expand who engages in the arts and where they engage. Rather than placing activities in enclosed venues for a limited number of people for a couple of hours, the objective is to enliven vacant lots, streets, and entire areas with creative energy– sound, light, visual art, and performance– for days or weeks at a time. The Arts Council for Long Beach will work with local partners around the city to implement this incredible opportunity given to Long Beach residents by the NEA.
“Cities and towns are transformed when you bring the arts– both literally and figuratively– into the center of them,” said NEA Chairman Landesman. “From Teller, Alaska to Miami, Florida, communities are pursuing creative placemaking, making their neighborhoods more vibrant and robust by investing in the performing, visual, and literary arts. I am proud to be partnering with these 80 communities and their respective arts, civic, and elected leaders.”
John Glaza, interim executive director of the Arts Council for Long Beach, said: “The residents of Long Beach will have more and more opportunities to enjoy the arts closer to home as a result of this grant award. We’re honored to accept this award on behalf of our community.”
The NEA received 317 applications for Our Town that were assigned to one of three application review panels based on their project type, arts engagement, cultural planning and design, or non-metro and tribal communities.
For a complete listing of projects recommended for Our Town grant support, visit the NEA website at arts.gov .
Source: LB Arts Council