By: Sharon Aron Baron
Coral Springs and Parkland have been selected as finalists to receive up to $1 million as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge, a program that aims to foster creative collaboration, address civic issues, and support local economies through public art.
More than 200 cities applied, however Coral Springs and Parkland, along with 13 other cities, were invited to submit a full proposal.
Last February, Bloomberg Philanthropies invited mayors of U.S. cities with 30,000 residents or more to submit proposals for temporary public art projects that address important civic issues, and demonstrate an ability to generate public-private collaborations, celebrate creativity and urban identity, and strengthen local economies.
“The tragic events of February 14, 2018 forever changed the fabric of our community,” said Mayor Skip Campbell. “In the aftermath of such devastating loss and grief, the term healing became a common theme for those so deeply affected. From vigils to fundraisers, our residents exhibited such grace and kindness.”
Proposals received from cities across the country address a range of pressing issues and social themes such as environmental sustainability, immigration, national disaster recovery, and cultural identity. Additionally, the proposals reflect a diverse use of artistic mediums including augmented reality, light installations, murals, and performances.
“The City of Coral Springs mission to enhance citywide aesthetics with the use of art took on a new meaning in the wake of the violence at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School,” said Director of Development Services Susan Krisman.” Art programs and installations became a source of healing for our grief-stricken community. We recognize that the Power of Art will not only enhance the vibrancy of our communities, but also support our most important mission – healing.”
Bloomberg Philanthropies will select at least three winners from among these 14 finalists in the fall to execute their projects over a maximum of 24 months. The grant is intended to provide catalytic funds as part of a strong, committed consortium of supporters. As such, the Bloomberg Philanthropies grants will cover project-related expenditures including development, execution, and marketing, but will not fund 100 percent of the total project costs.
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 Public Art Challenge allows mayors and artists to join forces to elevate the value of including the creative sector when developing solutions to significant urban issues.
Over 400 cities have submitted proposals for consideration in the Public Art Challenge since 2014. The foundation’s inaugural Public Art Challenge catalyzed $13 million for local economies across the four winning regions and illuminated civic issues including economic decline, vacancy, water conservation and police-community relations.
Said Campbell, “The Power of Art represents the unity of our cities coming together, while promoting our hopes for healing now and in the future.”