Tuesday, November 27, 2012

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Catherine Brandt Vacovsky

Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading organization for advancing the arts and arts education, today announced it has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to fund Cultural/Arts and Entertainment District Project (Cultural Districts Project), a comprehensive, three-year initiative that will provide substantive new technical assistance and training resources designed to meet the unique needs of local arts agencies and local arts organizations charged with creating, maintaining and evaluating arts, entertainment and cultural districts around the country.

“Our nation’s arts, entertainment and cultural districts are key players in shaping and revitalizing the physical, social and economic character of neighborhoods, cities and towns,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “This new initiative presents Americans for the Arts with an unprecedented opportunity to shine a bright spotlight on the value and impact these entities have on their local communities while also providing them with the tools they need to continue and augment their critically important work."

Cultural Districts Project

Americans for the Arts has monitored the growth of arts, entertainment, and cultural districts for years, publishing the first-of-its-kind guide “Cultural Districts Handbook” in 1998. Today, Americans for the Arts is actively tracking approximately 500 districts and fields a significant number of requests for additional technical assistance specifically related to districts.

The new Cultural Districts Project builds upon this track record of service to the field, and will produce new tools to aid in the assessment of districts’ impact. The initiative also seeks to advance the national dialogue between state and local arts leaders and non-arts stakeholders about how to work together more effectively to identify naturally occurring cultural districts and leverage the arts in the ongoing effort to strengthen local economies, create an enhanced sense of place and deepen local cultural capacity.

Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, it has a record of more than 50 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org.