ArtPlace is a new public-private consortium made up of leading national foundations, such as Ford, Andrew W. Mellon and Rockefeller, and federal agencies pulled together by Rocco Landesman, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.
This first round of grants will inject $11.5 million, plus an additional $12 million in loans from private corporations, into 34 projects from Honolulu to Miami, Boise to New York. Each project, including TMP’s “Boise Bright Spot Project," was chosen because it offers a new model for driving local economy by integrating artists and arts organizations into community development, job creation and more.
The innovative ArtPlace program reflects a growing understanding of how the arts intersect with community and economy. It is more an investment-based model for arts funding, than simply philanthropic, Landesman told the New York Times.
“We really need to scale up the resources in the field,” he said. “It is not going to be through Congressional appropriation.”
TMP has been on quite a ride lately. The ArtPlace grant comes on the heels of a $15,000 grant from the City of Boise last week to extend the dance company’s Cultural Ambassador title, and a $100,000 NEA “Our Town” grant in July, intended to spur creative “placemaking.” Placemaking is an arts-world buzz word that refers to the way art reflects its environment, and visa versa.
In 2012, TMP will embark on its U.S. Cultural Ambassadorship, touring China, South Korea, Vietnam and the Philippines as part of DanceMotion USA, a cultural diplomacy project by U.S. State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The end result of that will bring dancers from those countries to Boise to create a new ballet.
TMP made placemaking part of its mission when choreographer Trey McIntyre and executive director and dancer John Michael Schert chose to found their company in Boise in 2008. The city is fairly far off the radar in national dance circles where TMP exists. Since moving here, the company has raised Boise’s profile as a cultural center, brought in significant grants, such as this one, and garnered attention from national media for its unusual choice.
"The Boise Bright Spot Project" is an expansion of TMP’s cultural engagement series that brings dance into unconventional settings, such as business offices and hospitals. Pictured above, TMP dancers Chanel DaSilva and Dylan G-Bowley performed at Frank Church High School in 2010