Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Creative Industry Workforce Grants announced

In the interest of getting something up on my blog right away, following is the entire press release issued at the press conference and awards ceremony just held at City Hall. Very exciting announcement of new grants to support creative industry jobs and neighborhood revitalization in Philadelphia. Thanks to the Mayor, City Council, the panelists, and to all the City colleagues who helped make this possible.


Philadelphia, March 31, 2010— Today Mayor Michael A. Nutter awarded $500,000 in Creative Industry Workforce Grants to eight arts-related organizations. The awards ranged from $20,000 to $100,000 each. This funding will be used for specific capital projects that will yield both temporary jobs (including construction, installation, architectural and engineering jobs) and permanent jobs in the creative sector. Funding for the Creative Industry Workforce Grant program comes from the Community Development Block Grant program of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA). Created through a partnership of the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy and the Department of Commerce, the goal of the unique program is to nurture and develop the creative sector while fostering neighborhood development, business attraction and job creation.

“These grants are all about providing more jobs for Philadelphians. This funding will not only offer new construction opportunities, but will deliver lasting jobs in the creative economy,” said Mayor Nutter. “These awards will support distinctive, cultural programming in diverse neighborhoods in the years to come.”

The Creative Industry Workforce Grant program was open to the nonprofit arts and culture community as well as for-profit arts, entertainment and creative businesses.  These awards reinforce the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy’s larger strategy to nurture and develop this sector by providing specific programs and resources to the creative industries. This grant program also intersects with the Commerce Department’s business services, neighborhood development, business attraction and job creation efforts.

"This is a very exciting - and ground-breaking - program for the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, and for the City of Philadelphia.   By investing Community Development Block Grant funds in capital projects that help foster our creative enterprises and generate jobs in our low and moderate income communities, we help support both this important industry and also nurture healthy neighborhoods," said Chief Cultural Officer Gary Steuer.

In order to qualify for the grants, applicants needed to demonstrate that their project could start within three months from the award date. The projects also must have met federal CDBG eligibility including but not limited to serving low to moderate income customers creating low to moderate income jobs, or being located in a low to moderate income neighborhood. Eligible applicants included nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, community development corporations, for-profit creative businesses, microenterprises and others. The award winners were selected by a five-person panel comprised of Chief Cultural Officer Gary Steuer, Commerce Department’s Chief Operating Officer Kevin Dow, Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds-Brown, President of the Reinvestment Fund Jeremy Nowak, and CEO of The Burd Group Nancy Burd.



Connection Training Services - $60,000
2243 W. Allegheny Street (North Philadelphia)
Creation of the North Philadelphia Creative Arts Center and Gallery at the Allegheny Business Center, an arts incubator for ex-offenders

Crane Old School, LP - $100,000
1425 N. 2nd Street (Kensington)
$1.7 million conversion of an historic school into multi-tenant artist and commercial arts space, including the new Pig Iron Theater School

Octo Enterprises Incorporated - $100,000
2214-14 Alter Street (Point Breeze)
Industrial building renovation and expansion for new artist workspace

Olney Cultural Collaborative - $20,000
An initiative of the North 5th Revitalization Project, a program of the Korean
Community Development Services Center (Olney)
Office renovation for neighborhood cultural programming initiative

Revolution Recovery         - $40,000
7333 Milnor Street (Northeast)
Artist workspace and office space at recycling facility for a new artist in residency program.

Underground Arts at the Wolf Building - $50,000
340 N. 12th Street Associates, LP (Callowhill)
Creation of a Multi-disciplinary Arts Venue

Vox Populi - $30,000
319 N. 11th Street (Callowhill)
Creation of multi-disciplinary performance venue and additional artist studios

2215 East Tioga Street Gallery & Studios        - $100,000
2215 East Tioga Street (Kensington)
Rehabilitation to create an art gallery and sculpture garden

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