The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced 59 Our Town grant awards totaling $4.725 million and reaching 34 states in the Our Town program's third year of funding. The Arts Council of Fairfax County is one of 59 grantees and will receive $50,000 for Imagine Art Here, a public art community engagement project in Tysons. A temporary, portable work of art will be designed to engage people in the discussion of public art and the role of art in Tysons. The project will be installed at four locations near the new Silver Line Metrorail stations in Tysons over a one-year period. Imagine Art Here will both elicit a vision for the arts in Tysons, and collect resident, workforce and retail visitor feedback on the type of facilities, public art and related amenities desired. The artist selection will be made through an RFQ with submissions reviewed by a professional panel with arts, architecture, planning and community representatives. The selected artist’s work will enhance the experience of people passing through Tysons, increase public awareness of the potential for public art, promote community participation in planning public spaces, and increase livability and vitality in Tysons. The Arts Council is partnering with the Fairfax County Government and the Tysons Partnership to carry out the project.
“Tysons is a progressive and rapidly growing community, and provides a perfect intersection for art and urban life,” says Linda S. Sullivan, president & CEO of the Arts Council of Fairfax County. “The Imagine Art Here initiative will enable the residents in Tysons and Fairfax County to provide their ideas and preferences for the inclusion of public art and arts amenities in the future development of Tysons. We thank the Fairfax County Government and Tysons Partnership for their vital roles as project partners.”
Through Our Town, the NEA supports creative place-making projects that help transform communities into lively, beautiful and sustainable places with the arts at their core. The grantee projects will 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 at least one nonprofit organization and a local government entity.
The NEA received 254 applications for Our Town this year. Grant amounts ranged from $25,000 to $200,000 with a median grant amount of $50,000. For a complete listing of projects recommended for Our Town grant support, please visit the NEA web site at arts.gov.
The input from Imagine Art Here initiative will inform the Master Arts Plan (MAP). The goal of MAP is to expand community access to and engagement in the arts and culture by planning cultural facilities and public art throughout Fairfax County that reflects its diversity, considers existing facilities, and responds to future growth. In 2010 the Board of Supervisors tasked the Arts Council of Fairfax County, as the official arts agency for the county, with the collaborative leadership of the Master Arts Plan (MAP). A MAP Task Force consisting of Arts Council Board members, community representatives and government officials was formed to assess existing cultural assets in the county and the growth trends that will inform a plan for future arts facilities and public art.
To obtain more information on Imagine Art Here and MAP, visit http://artsfairfax.org/map.