T4America received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support ongoing work to help transportation professionals learn how to engage with artists and design better transportation projects that better reflect and serve local communities.
“The American people are recognized for their innovative spirit and these grants represent the vision, energy, and talent of America’s artists and arts organizations,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “I am proud of the role the National Endowment for the Arts plays in helping advance the creative capacity of the United States.” This grant comes from the NEA’s “Our Town” program:
Our Town is the NEA’s signature creative placemaking program that supports partnerships of artists, arts organizations, and municipal government that work to revitalize neighborhoods. This practice places arts at the table with land-use, transportation, economic development, education, housing, infrastructure, and public safety strategies to address a community’s challenges. Creative placemaking highlights the distinctiveness of a place, encouraging residents to identify and build upon their local creative assets.
Within the transportation sector, creative placemaking is an approach that incorporates arts, culture and creativity to allow for more genuine public engagement in planning processes. This can be a particularly impactful tool for historically underrepresented communities, providing a platform and process to more directly involve community members in the systems that impact them. This produces transportation projects that better serve the needs of the local community and reflect the local culture and heritage of the populations that these projects serve.
For nearly two years, T4America has been on the leading edge of translating this emerging topic area and explaining its benefits to transportation professionals (planners, engineers, local elected officials and others). This grant will help us continue a transition from defining how this approach works in transportation, into actively equipping and training both transportation professionals and artists to work with each other on transportation projects.