SANTA MONICA, Calif., Nov. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Ovation, the only multi-platform network devoted to artists and every kind of artistic expression, is announcing the recipients of a total of $95,000 in the inaugural innOVATION Grant Program. Each of the five recipient organizations is being recognized for its role in creating innovative art-based programs, which are spurring economic development and revenue growth, as well as community revitalization. The program is being administered in partnership with Americans for the Arts, the nation's leading organization for advancing the arts and arts education. In addition, Ovation has opened up voting for a "Viewer's Choice" Grant recipient, which will be awarded early next year.
Inspired by the remarkable community revitalization effort in Detroit documented in the network's original series Motor City Rising, the innOVATION Grant Program was created to highlight similar stories of arts-focused, neighborhood renewal across the country and provide support to model projects. Ovation has contributed $110,000 for the initial year's grants—three for $25,000, two for $10,000 and one $15,000 "Viewer's Choice Award." Americans for the Arts' roster of more than 1500 member organizations were eligible to be nominated for each.
Among the selected recipients for this year's inaugural innOVATION grant program are:
- Beet Street ($25,000), a nonprofit arts organization, in partnership with the City of Fort Collins Cultural Services Department, Fort Collins Downtown Development Authority, Colorado State University School of the Arts. Beet Street will use its innOVATION grant money for its Arts Incubator of the Rockies project.
- The Lanesboro Arts Center ($25,000), a nonprofit arts organization, in partnership with the city of Lanesboro, MN will use its innOVATION grant to create the Lanesboro Arts Campus, a cohesive, all-encompassing arts experience for residents and visitors throughout the city of Lanesboro.
- The Tacoma Arts Program ($25,000), in partnership with Shunpike and the Tacoma Chamber of Commerce in Tacoma, WA, will invest its innOVATION grant dollars in Spaceworks Tacoma, a project which will transform empty storefronts and vacant space in the Tacoma downtown area into dynamic points of interest.
- Artsquest ($10,000), a non-profit arts organization, in partnership with the City of Bethlehem, PA will use its innOVATION grant to support the SteelStacks Arts and Culture Campus, a project which uses arts and cultural programming to lead the strategic redevelopment of the former Bethlehem Steel plant, one of the largest industrial brownfields in the nation.
- CulturalDC ($10,000), a nonprofit will use its innOVATION grant dollars to fund its Creative Placemaking Initiative in Washington, DC, including a series of events such as the DC PARK Day, an annual worldwide event where artists, designers and citizens transform metered parking into a creative urban landscape through temporary interactive art installations.
"The arts teach us how to look at challenging situations from different perspectives, how to find the common ground that unites us and how to use our different skills and individual strengths in partnership to resolve those challenges," said Charles Segars, CEO of Ovation. "The spirit of growth and renewal that the arts and artists bring to their communities move all of us forward in the creative economy and Ovation is committed to supporting their efforts."
President and CEO of Americans for the Arts Robert L. Lynch added, "I am delighted that the innOVATION grant program is shining a very necessary spotlight on the great work that Americans for the Arts' local arts members are doing in their communities. In addition to the profound impact these organizations have in shaping the cultural identity of the communities they serve, they also play a pivotal role in building and revitalizing their respective economies. It's important now more than ever that their contributions not only be recognized, but also given the opportunity to expand and to grow in order to positively impact a greater cross-section of their communities."
Meeting in Washington, D.C., Americans for the Arts, Ovation's Vice President of Community Relations Sonia Tower and a panel of national experts in creative place making selected this year's grant recipients based on creative, economic and social impact, as well as the project's ability to bring together public, private, nonprofit and community efforts to improve and enhance a specific region through arts and culture.
In addition to the formal funding process, Ovation has made the unconventional decision to add an additional Viewers' Choice Award. For the first time, the public is invited to have a say in who will receive an arts-related grant. Those interested in voicing their opinion are encourage to visit Ovation's Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/OvationTV) to review Viewers' Choice submissions and vote for their favorite project between now and December 31, 2012. The online submission that receives the most votes during that period will receive a $15,000 innOVATION grant, to be announced in January, 2013.
For information and guidelines for the innOVATION Grant Program, please visit http://www.americansforthearts.org/get_involved/membership/innovation.asp.
Ovation is a network devoted to artists and every kind of artistic expression. Ovation programming is a one-of-a-kind mix of original and selectively curated series, films, documentaries and specials. The network reaches a national audience of 51 million homes and is available on cable systems across the country, as well as nationally on DIRECTV, Dish, Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-Verse. Ovation is also available in HD and VOD (both in standard and high definition). Ovation extends its linear channel experience for viewers online via its popular website, www.ovationtv.com . In addition, Ovation is also active in the social media space. See the Ovation Facebook page for the latest information and conversations about the network and the arts: http://Ovtn.tv/fb.
About Americans for the Arts
Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, it has a record of more than 50 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org.