East Ninth street in downtown Cleveland was laid to waste thanks to some fake movie mayhem during the Avengers film shoot, a few years ago. Now, that well-traveled corridor is due to get an artsy spruce-up thanks to some real money from Washington. ideastream's David C. Barnett reports.
Each year, the National Endowment for the Arts awards funding to community development projects across the country as part of a program it calls "Our Town". The goal is to use art to inject some life into dreary urban or rural landscapes. The NEA calls this "creative placemaking" and it can include such things as festivals, performances in empty storefronts, murals or other forms of public art. 66 national groups were awarded funds, this year, including a collaborative effort by Cleveland-based LAND studios and Ingenuity, which will get 100,000 dollars to promote an artistic makeover to East 9th street. Artists and designers will be invited to submit proposals to transform the corridor into what the NEA calls "a livelier, pedestrian-friendly experience". The other Ohio grant award this year is 75,000 dollars for expanded space and cultural programming in the historic Westcott House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in Springfield.