$50K Grant For Playhouse, Creamery District – July 13, 2012

Friday, July 13, 2012
Above, Creamery District activists gathered for today’s announcement: David Ferney, Susan Ornelas, Katie Whiteside, Fawn Scheer, Fran Beatty, Paul Lubitz, Jacqueline Dandeneau and Jake Johnson. KLH | Eye
Playhouse Arts receives major grant
Playhouse Arts is one of 80 grantees selected nationwide
[Arcata, CA]— The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announces 80 Our Town grant awards totaling $4.995 million and reaching 44 states and the District of Columbia.  Playhouse Arts/Arcata Playhouse is one of the grantees and will receive $50,000 for the “Creamery District – where arts and industry meet.”
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.  The grantee projects will 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 not-for-profit organization and a local government entity.
Playhouse Arts and the City of Arcata will work with Holly Yashi, Kash Boodjeh Architects, Greenway Partners, 101 Architects and other local businesses to create a creative industry corridor in the historic Creamery District in downtown Arcata. Funding will support multiple phases of a comprehensive planning and community building program, engaging the thriving community of performing and visual arts, design, and civic organizations in Humboldt County throughout the process. Activities include public visioning sessions; selection of a design consultant; development of a schematic urban design; creation of public art and design standards for the district; and production of a Creamery District Street Festival in August, 2013.
Currently the project includes visioning meetings, permanent and rotating art installations as well as a community celebration with performances, music and street theater in the late summer of 2013. Funds are also allocated to set up a working group that can guide the overall vision and implementation of the district. The goal is to make the District accessible and comfortable for our community while maintaining its whimsical and funky appeal. This grant enables the kernel that has been fostered by a grassroots community group to grow a little.
“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.”
“We are very excited about the possibilities for the District and the enthusiasm our community has shown for the Arcata Playhouse and this project. We have a great group of people that have been working hard to make this happen.  We still have some fundraising to do, but this is a fabulous start!”  Jacqueline Dandeneau of Playhouse Arts.
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. Playhouse Arts and Arcata were one of the 80 applications funded.
Playhouse Arts and the Arcata Playhouse are a community arts organization based in the Old Creamery Building in the newly dubbed Creamery district. They present music, theater, variety performance and host an annual family series as well as youth workshops and a teen program-Apprentice Entertainment.

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