The Kresge Foundation’s 3-Year Grant
In 2015, the City of Fargo received a 3-year grant from The Kresge Foundation to fund the creative placemaking efforts that are indicative of The Fargo Project’s approach.
The Kresge Foundation shares a vision with ArtPlace America and the National Endowment for the Arts and funds programs “where arts and culture are integrated and sustain how we think about healthy places to live and thrive,” says Maria Rosairo Jackson, senior advisor at The Kresge Foundation.
Creative placemaking includes four phases: analysis, engagement, design and implementation. Key to the process is taking these first three phases out of the city hall setting and moving them into the community. Creative placemaking connects artists, infrastructure, social and cultural needs. The leaders of The Fargo Project have learned that the process is as much a part of the art as a transformed space.
“We are learning through the process we are creating, and creating a process adaptable to other locations in our city,” says Nicole Crutchfield, city planner and leader of The Fargo Project.
“We believe that by setting the stage to activate public space through culturally relevant processes we can learn to appreciate our culture and define meaningful place. By connecting individual voices through artist-led initiatives, we will gain valuable insight on how best to transform Rabanus Park (the existing park and basin) into World Garden Commons. We can then begin transforming other physical spaces and methods for designing infrastructure,” she says.
Funds from the Kresge Foundation allow for thoughtful community experimentation while protecting and keeping the principles learned from integrating artists and community involvement into The Fargo Project.
The Kresge Foundation is a $3.6 billion private, national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and social investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services, and community development in Detroit. In 2015, the Board of Trustees approved 370 grants totaling $125.2 million, and nine social investment commitments totaling $20.3 million.