FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Heather Fagan (407) 246-3423
Cassandra Lafser (407) 246-2182
National Endowment for the Arts Announces Orlando as a 2012 Our Town Grant Recipient
Orlando, Florida – (July 13, 2012) – Yesterday, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced the City of Orlando is one of 80 Our Town grant recipients and will receive $50,000 towards a revitalization project of Loch Haven Park to further solidify the area as a regional cultural arts destination. These funds will be combined with local matching funds from Commissioner Robert F. Stuart’s District 3 Capital Improvement Fund, Florida Hospital and the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation.
“This grant will create a unique public-private partnership between several local businesses and arts and cultural organizations to transform our Loch Haven Park into a premier arts and culture destination,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “Not only will this project create greater economic activity for our community, but it will continue to solidify Orlando as a world-class city providing more urban amenities for our residents and visitors.”
The proposed project includes improving the park design for walkability, fostering marketing collaboration between neighboring cultural institutions, identifying key connections to the new SunRail commuter rail project and designing a small stage and seating area for outdoor events and festivals. Part of the project will also include the installation of two unique public art pieces along the SunRail corridor in close proximity to the park to create greater awareness of the cultural destination.
“Orlando Loch Haven Park and its amenities require a strategic vision to plan and design physical improvements that will capitalize on their assets,” said District 3 Commissioner Robert Stuart. “The Our Town grant will provide the City and its partners, including the Ivanhoe Village Main Street, with the funding necessary to facilitate this process and improve the quality of life for Central Florida residents through the arts.”
Through Our Town, the NEA supports creative placemaking projects that help transform communities into lively, beautiful and sustainable places with the arts at their core. The grantee projects will improve quality of life, encourage creative activity, create community identity and a sense of place and help revitalize local economies. All Our Town grant awards were made to partnerships that consisted of a minimum of a not-for-profit organization and a local government entity.
"Cities and towns are transformed when you bring the arts – both literally and figuratively – into the center of them,” said NEA Chairman Landesman. "From Teller, Alaska to Miami, Florida, communities are pursuing creative placemaking, making their neighborhoods more vibrant and robust by investing in the performing, visual, and literary arts. I am proud to be partnering with these 80 communities and their respective arts, civic, and elected leaders."
A total of 80 Our Town grants from 317 applications were awarded totaling $4.995 million and reaching 44 states and the District of Columbia. For a complete listing of projects recommended for Our Town grant support, please visit the NEA web site at arts.gov.