Bloomberg Philanthropies Announce Winners of Public Art Challenge Grant; Theaster Gates Among the Artists


Theaster Gates.


Today, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced the four American cities chosen as the winners of its first-ever Public Art Challenge grant: Los Angeles; Spartanburg, South Carolina; Gary, Indiana; and a collaborative made up of Albany, Schenectady and Troy in New York. Each will receive up to $1 million.

The grant was created with the aim of “supporting temporary public art projects that engage communities, enhance creativity, and enrich the vibrancy of cities,” according to a news release, and with each city will come a chief artist and curator. Erwin Redl heads up Spartanburg, New York gets Adam Frelin, and Los Angeles is yet-be-announced. Theaster Gates at the helm in Gary.

For Gates’s project (titled Arthouse: A Social Kitchen) he will, according to Bloomberg Philanthropies, “transform a vacant downtown building into a cultural hub that showcases visual and culinary arts.” Included in this will be three commissioned visual artworks, culinary training, and cultural programming centered around food as a conduit for community interaction.

Arthouse: A Social Kitchen is very much in line with previous Gates projects, which have in the past included the restoration of buildings on Chicago’s South Side as well as the largest public art project in the history of the Chicago Transit Authority. All four Public Art Challenge grants will be developed and executed within the next 24 months.

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