In November of 2015, Neighborhood Allies and the Office of Public Art announced the launch of our Temporary Public Art & Placemaking Pilot program, which will result in a series of temporary works of public art in each of our target neighborhoods, which include the Hill District, Homewood, Larimer, Millvale, Wilkinsburg and the Southern Hilltops.
Placemaking is the collaborative process of aggregating existing assets and values to impact the cultural, social, and physical identity of place. The resulting public art and placemaking projects have the capacity and potential to serve as a catalyst to reduce the challenges of blight, harness creative cultural potential, and help reenergize and reshape how residents imagine their neighborhoods.
We are proud to announce that six teams of community based organizations, one from each of our target neighborhoods, have been selected to participate in the program following a request for qualifications process! The following organizations, will engage their respective communities and collaborate with the six artists to develop the conceptual proposal and create the exact vision and for the project:
- The Hill District: Hill House Association
- Homewood: Legacy Arts Project
- Larimer: Larimer Consensus Group
- Millvale: Millvale Community Development Corporation
- Southern Hilltop: Hilltop Men’s Group
- Wilkinsburg: Wilkinsburg CDC and the Community Art and Civic Design Commission
This week, the selected community based organizations attended the first ever Kickoff Meeting for the program at the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council. Representatives from each organization shared their goals for their communities in the creation of more lively, positive spaces, and shared how public art and placemaking can be employed to spark and further these efforts.
At the kickoff meeting, Neighborhood Allies and Office of Public Art team members led the organizations
through the next step, the artist selection process. The final project teams will consist of partnerships between each organization and an artist or artist team, who the community based organizations will select. Neighborhood Allies and the Office of Public Art will help facilitate the artist selection process for each organization, which will consist of community information sessions in each neighborhood and in person interviews. Applicants will be reviewed by a selection panel comprised of arts professionals, community representatives, and staff members from Neighborhood Allies and the Office of Public Art.
Once each organization is teamed with their respective artist, each project team will work alongside residents and stakeholders in their neighborhood to develop a proposal for the design and implementation of the temporary public art project. The resulting works of art will be a catalyst to do one or more of the following:
- Animate public and private spaces,
- Rejuvenate structures and streetscapes
- Support local businesses
- Enhance public safety
- Bring people of all ages, ethnicities, and socioeconomic backgrounds together to build relationships and develop a shared commitment to transforming a space through sincere collaboration.
In the process of working with residents to develop the resulting work of temporary public art, all project teams of organizations and artists will participate in Placemaking Academy. The Placemaking Academy is a dynamic a series of workshops that will deepen participants’ current skill sets, build upon existing organizational capacity, and provide participants with the training to plan and execute future public art and placemaking projects on their own.