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Placemakers: Chinatown North, The Porch at 30th St., Race Street Pier will get even better

Three high-profile, transformational areas of the city received significant funding this week through ArtPlace, a new national collaboration of 11 major foundations, six of the nation’s largest banks and eight federal agencies (like the National Endowment for the Arts) that aims to accelerate creative placemaking.
In Philadelphia, there is an abundance of creative placemaking taking shape across the city.

The Asian Arts Initiative received $450,000 for the Chinatown North Social Practice Lab. The University City District took in $375,000 for The Porch at 30th Street Station. The City’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy earned $200,000 for the Numen/For Use Public Art Project at Race Street Pier.

The Porch, a reclaimed parking between the nation’s second busiest train station and the site of the former U.S. Post Office building that opened late last fall, will use the funding for urban design upgrades and art installations for the half-acre public space. 

“The Porch has unparalleled potential as one of Philadelphia’s great public spaces,” says University City District’s Director of Planning and Economic Development Prema Katari Gupta in a news release. “Our early efforts to animate this space have been succeeding beyond our very high initial expectations.”

The Social Practice Lab aims to position Chinatown North as a “dynamic neighborhood site” for local and national visual and performing artists. The goal will be to create alliances that promote neighborhood development and strengthens community bonds.

The Numen/For Use Public Art Project is among the many ongoing efforts to activate the Delaware River Waterfront. Croatian-Austrian design collective Numen/For Use’s first U.S. project involves creating a large-scale interactive installation at Race Street Pier Park.

“The Philadelphia projects receiving ArtPlace funding exemplify the best in creative placemaking,” says Carol Coletta of ArtPlace, which awarded more than $15 million to 47 projects. “They demonstrate a deep understanding of how smart investments in art, design and culture as part of a larger portfolio of strategies can change the trajectory of communities and increase economic opportunities for people.”

Source: University City District
Writer: Joe Petrucci
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