Uptown Greenville, NC


Parrott Canvas Participates in Unique Artist-Manufacturer Alliance

Chapel Hill, NC (June 12, 2012) - The Public Art Collaborative's Art-Force Program is honored to have received the only North Carolina grant from ArtPlace America as one of 47 projects supporting creative placemaking initiatives in 33 communities nationwide. ArtPlace is a new national collaboration of 11 major national and regional foundations, six of the nation's largest banks, and eight federal agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts, to accelerate creative placemaking across the United States.

This grant award is for the Public Art Collaborative's Art-Force Program, which transfers and extends the reach of artistic assets into essential manufacturing and industrial jobs.  The project complements and diversifies economic development efforts by engaging artists in partnership with manufacturers to stimulate new products; expand and strengthen local manufacturing companies, and, create and retain jobs.  This job-creation program places artists, art, and design at the center of the creative process, uses materials and technologies critical to longterm economic vibrancy, and supports production of artist-conceived and designed works.

In Greenville, the Public Art Collaborative is working with Mickey Parrott of Parrott Canvas Company and textile artist Jan-Ru Wan.

"Creative placemaking isn't just for cities," explained Carol Coletta, Director of ArtPlace.  "These rural arts projects demonstrate that smart investments in art, design, and culture as part of a larger portfolio of revitalization strategies can change the trajectory of communities and increase economic opportunities for people, whether the setting is rural or urban.

According to Janet Kagan and Jean Greer, Principals of the Public Art Collaborative, "We believe in the power and imagination of artists to strengthen place through strategies of product development and the animation of civic spaces.  This grant supports a streamlined approach to create new manufactured products, stimulate jobs, and animate rural downtowns in Chatham, Lee, and Pitt counties North Carolina.  In addition to the selected artists and manufacturers, we are delighted to be aligning this work with area arts organizations and business development interests in each of the three communities."

"Across the country, our communities are using the arts to help shape their social, physical, and economic characters," said National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Rocco Landesman.  "In rural settings, where people live far apart from one another, the arts can offer an opportunity to come together and share a common experience.  It is wonderful that ArtPlace and its funders have recognized this work and invested in it so generously."

Wanda Yuhas, Executive Director of the Pitt County Development Commission, added, "Greenville is evolving from being a big town to a small city.  Our community views the arts not as an amenity but as a necessity and an expectation.  We are thrilled that ArtPlace has asked the Public Art Collaborative to support our ongoing transition."

ArtPlace received almost 2,200 letters of inquiry from organizations seeking a portion of the $15.4 million available for grants in this cycle.  Participating foundations include Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Ford Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Rasmuson Foundation, The Robina Foundation and an anonymous donor.  In addition to the NEA, federal partners are the department of Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Education and Transportation, along with leadership from the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Domestic Policy Council.

A complete list of the 2012 ArtPlace awards may be found at artplaceamerica.org.

For more information, contact:

Janet Kagan
Public Art Collaborative LLC

Jean P. Greer
Public Art Collaborative LLC