Historic Arts Investment Announced Downtown

May 4, 2015 0 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

JACKSONVILLE – The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, Inc. is pleased to announce two new funding opportunities for arts and cultural projects in downtown Jacksonville – the 2016 SPARK Grant Program and Downtown Investment Authority (DIA) Urban Art Projects (Phase One) – culminating in a historic number of artistic projects all at once in the urban core and representing nearly $500,000 in funding. Read all about it after the jump!



“There are so many opportunities for the arts and cultural community right now,” said Tony Allegretti, executive director of the Cultural Council. “This cycle of the SPARK Grant Program represents what we believe to be the largest grant funding pool open to individual artists in Jacksonville’s history, while the DIA Urban Art Projects will totally transform downtown through the placement of functional works of art.”

The announcement of this historic level of artistic funding for downtown projects was made at the Cultural Council’s 39th Annual Arts Awards by Allegretti along with Darnell Smith, Florida Blue Market President for the North Florida Region.

2016 SPARK Grant Program – The third cycle of the SPARK Grant Program continues the Cultural Council’s initiative designed to ignite a core downtown area known as the “SPARK District” through arts and cultural activities and temporary installations. The privately-funded grant program is open to individual artists/cultural providers and 501c3 nonprofit organizations from Duval, Nassau, St. Johns, Clay and Baker counties. Award amounts will range between $10,000 and $30,000 each for projects that will take place during 2016.

Additionally, a Special Project Category sponsored by Florida Blue called FLORIDA BLUE FLAME seeks SPARK grant applications geared towards seniors and/or children, teens and families focused on building healthy, strong communities through innovative arts and cultural projects that enhance healthy, active lifestyles and emphasize quality of life.

A SPARK application workshop is scheduled for Monday, June 15, from 5:30-7 p.m., at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts, 300 W. Water St., Jacksonville. Deadline for applications is August 6.
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In its inaugural year, the SPARK Grant Program funded four individual artist grants totaling approximately $61,000 from private donations. The second SPARK Grant cycle, which was funded by Florida Blue and included an emphasis on programming geared towards children and teens, awarded $45,000 to four individual artists and one organization.
For more information on the 2016 SPARK Grant Program, or to apply, visit: www.culturalcouncil.org/SPARK2016.

DIA Urban Art Projects (Phase One) - Concurrent with the grant period for the 2016 SPARK Grant Program, Jacksonville’s Art in Public Places Program (APP), which is administered by the Cultural Council on behalf of the City of Jacksonville, will be implementing Phase One of three planned phases of permanent public art projects. Funded through Jacksonville’s Downtown Investment Authority (DIA), Phase One of the Community Redevelopment Plan (CRA) Urban Art Façade and Streetscape Program – or DIA Urban Art Projects, for short – will invest $180,000 in Skyway columns, utility boxes, bike racks, street furnishings, and outdoor sculpture.

The DIA Urban Art Projects funded by the Downtown Investment Authority (DIA) are arts-based civic engagement public art commissions promoting community development through public art, urban design and attractive streetscapes in the downtown urban core. Individual artists or artist teams from the five-county area are encouraged to apply for up to six permanent public art project installations in phased zones through a Call-to-Artists process based on artist qualifications. Each project will engage audiences of all ages at the street level and is complementary to clean up and beautification initiatives further enhancing and shaping the city’s overall design, functionality and visual aesthetic.

The Phase One projects will be concentrated in an area of the SPARK District that encompasses the Skyway Central Station to the west, City Hall and Hemming Park to the north, the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts to the south, and engages Hogan Street and Laura Street from west to east.

Two DIA Urban Art Projects application workshops are scheduled for Tuesday, July 7, and Saturday, July 11 with time and location to be determined. Deadline for applications is August 17.

For more information on the DIA Urban Art Projects, visit: www.culturalcouncil.org/DIAurbanart
About the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville
The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville champions the appreciation, relevance and expression of art and culture. The Cultural Council is sponsored in part by the City of Jacksonville and the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. Learn more at www.culturalcouncil.org.