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The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Creative Placemaking Award

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Creative Placemaking Award recognizes projects in the Chicago region that leverage the power of the arts, culture and creativity to serve a community’s interest while driving a broader agenda of change, growth and transformation in a way that builds character and quality of place.*

Creative Placemaking is a process-oriented approach to solving complex local problems using place-based arts and cultural strategies. By cultivating existing community assets, creative placemaking projects and processes bring people together to foster community connections, examine the history of place and co-create solutions to community needs. These projects can take many forms, including the reclamation of space, creative and innovative housing solutions, uncovering and healing trauma, driving new policy and providing economic opportunity.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Creative Placemaking Award recognizes projects within the Chicago region in which arts and culture are integral to community development.

Creative Placemaking employs creative or innovative means, incorporating arts or culture, to bring people together to build and contribute to shared understanding of culture and community. Creative Placemaking is a process oriented approach to solving complex problems.

The award recognizes cultural or artistic practice that is taking place today and has been active within the last three years. Projects must be located in or serve communities of color, defined as people and places that have been historically marginalized and/or underinvested. Eligible applicants include non-profit organizations, government entities, individuals, cross-sector or community partnerships.

Projects will be evaluated based on to which they effectively address a community purpose, issue or need; bring residents together to make social, physical and economic changes in their neighborhoods through arts or culture; and enable greater access for communities to participate in organized artistic or cultural activities.

The Award is $15,000.

*This definition of creative placemaking is informed by ArtPlace America.