Miami Selected as Finalist for $1M Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge Grant
Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced 17 U.S. cities are finalists to receive grants of up to $1 million each as part of the Public Art Challenge, a program launched in 2014 to support temporary public art projects that address an urgent civic issue. More than 150 cities from 40 U.S. states applied, and the most frequently cited issues they would tackle include urban revitalization, environmental sustainability, and equity.
Proposals also included addressing unsheltered communities, gun safety, and public health. Projects included a wide range of creative expression such as sculptures, murals, performances, digital projects, light installations, and festivals. Bloomberg Philanthropies will select up to 10 winners from among these 17 finalists in fall 2023 to execute their projects within the next two years.
Left: “Seeds of Change” mural in Jackson, MS by artist Ricardo Moody
Top right: “Temple of Time” in Parkland, FL by artist David Best
Bottom right: “Pathway to Hope,” in Tulsa, OK by artist Rick Lowe and William Cordova
“Public art provides a creative way to bring communities together, strengthen local economies, and make cities more inspiring and dynamic,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies and 108th mayor of New York City. “This year’s proposals show that public art, and the partnerships they forge between artists and local governments, is stronger than ever.”
In November 2022, Bloomberg Philanthropies invited mayors of U.S. cities with 30,000 residents or more to submit proposals for projects that celebrate creativity, catalyze public-private collaborations, and strengthen local economies. Bloomberg Philanthropies has selected the following 17 cities from across the nation to advance to the next round of the Public Art Challenge by submitting more detailed plans for their projects.
Miami, FL - Climate: The City of Miami proposes “1,000,000 Butterflies,” a digital mural on The Underline, an urban trail beneath Miami’s Metrorail, to prompt climate change action; and the development of gardens throughout the city to increase green spaces.
“This year’s Public Art Challenge applications showcased a commitment to embracing the creative sector as a means to develop solutions to a range of complex urban issues,” said Kate D. Levin, who leads the Arts Program at Bloomberg Philanthropies. “These finalists all proposed especially compelling creative ideas, along with robust community partnerships, and we are looking forward to learning more about their plans.”
Bloomberg Philanthropies’ support for the winning Public Art Challenge cities will be part of a committed, catalytic consortium of funders. The Bloomberg Philanthropies grants will cover project-related expenditures including development, execution, and marketing, but will not fund 100 percent of the total project costs.
The second round of Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge, awarded to five cities in 2018, catalyzed more than $100 million in economic benefit for local economies and illuminated civic issues including climate change, neighborhood blight, healing after gun violence, and commemorating the centennial of Greenwood’s 1921 Black Wall Street Massacre. Cities in the 2018 Public Art Challenge were able to spark local investment, stimulate new forms of partnership, improve community wellbeing, and create inclusive spaces to discuss complex social issues. The first round of Public Art Challenge winners in 2015 included Los Angeles, California; Gary, Indiana; Spartanburg, South Carolina; and Albany, Schenectady, and Troy, New York (a collaborative project). Their public art projects opened in 2016, drawing more than 10 million visitors. The projects spurred civic leaders and residents, as well as local nonprofits and businesses, to work together to advance solutions to critical urban challenges such as abandoned properties, environmental sustainability, community-police relations, and creative-sector economic development.