Terre Haute, Indiana National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Jane Chu announced 89 awards totaling $6.89 million supporting projects across the nation through the NEA’s Our Town program. Art Spaces – Wabash Valley Outdoor Sculpture Collection, Inc. is one of the recommended organizations for a grant of $75,000 for the Design Development Phase of Turn to the River, a multi-year project begun in 2012, to reconnect Terre Haute’s downtown with the Wabash River through public art and design. The NEA received 274 eligible applications for Our Town this year and will make grants ranging from $25,000 to $100,000.
“The arts reflect the vision, energy, and talent of America’s artists and arts organizations,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support organizations such as Art Spaces to cultivate vitality in their communities through the arts.”
Art Spaces’ charrettes during previous planning and concept phases have engaged the public and provided exciting ideas for the 4-square block city-county government campus, and the city-owned property at the Wabash River, “One Wabash.” The ultimate goal of Turn to the River is to reconnect Terre Haute’s downtown with the Wabash River through public art and design.
Art Spaces will work with a design firm beginning this fall. “Design Development is so important to the progress of Turn to the River,” says Art Spaces Executive Director Mary Kramer. “Our central government area is significant to our city’s history and should be a lively and attractive place. A riverside green space and overlook will provide an important connection between our urban and natural environments. Through public art we can also link to our region’s cultural stories. We are so pleased to be able to make this happen for Terre Haute and look forward to working with many people and organizations to create a successful design.”
The City of Terre Haute is the primary governmental partner on the project, but Art Spaces will also work closely with Vigo County officials to ensure that the designs complement the existing architecture and serve the needs of city and county operations on the site.
Ellie Caldwell, Art Spaces Board Chair, speaking for the organization, noted “This is an incredible honor not only for Art Spaces, but also for the City of Terre Haute and the Wabash Valley region. We are so grateful to the National Endowment for the Arts for their support of Turn to the River and for all of the transformational projects they make possible. Turn to the River offers a pivotal link between all of the active riverside initiatives including those of City of Terre Haute, Indiana State University and Riverscape – – and will build on existing partnerships for a healthier and more vibrant city for all of our citizens. “
Jennifer Perry, Region 6 Commissioner to the Indiana Arts Commission, noted that “This grant comes at an ideal time for our community. It may even be the largest arts grant ever given to our region. This project is a shining example of the positive outcomes that can result when the arts and government, and the private and public sectors work together. When we collaborate with a shared goal, it results in a better outcome for all. We’re thrilled that the National Endowment for the Arts wants to see that, too. This project is about art in action, the best kind of action to benefit all citizens.”
To view the Turn to the River plan and concepts from previous phases, go to www.wabashvalleyartspaces.com.
For a complete list of projects recommended for Our Town grant support, please visit the NEA web site at www.arts.gov. The NEA recently relaunched the creative placemaking web page which has more information about the Our Town Program
To join the Twitter conversation about this announcement, please use #NEASpring17.
Art Spaces brings together people, business and art to build a vibrant city.