The City of Charleston is proud to announce that it will receive an Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), one of only 51 grants awarded nationwide.
Our Town is the NEA’s latest investment in creative placemaking, through which partners from both public and private sectors come together to strategically shape the social, physical, and economic character of a neighborhood, town, city, or region around arts and cultural activities.
Gaillard Center Arts Precinct will be a parallel investment to the renovation of the Gaillard Center; the Arts Precinct design project envisions new open-air public performance spaces and artistic infrastructure, demonstrating how the arts advance livability and strengthen communities by giving expression to shared civic values and cultural identity. The City’s Civic Design Center will lead the Arts Precinct project and its inclusive design process to create a vibrant cultural focal point that celebrates artistic engagement and advances excellence in the art of place-making and urban design.
National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Landesman said, “Communities across our country are using smart design and leveraging the arts to enhance quality of life and promote their distinctive identities. In this time of great economic upheaval, Our Town provides communities an opportunity to reignite their economies.”
“The City of Charleston believes investing in the public realm with artistic infrastructure strengthens the creative spirit of individuals and the community, and demonstrates how the arts give expression to shared civic values and cultural identity. Charleston’s urban fabric holds many lessons of excellence in city-making; the Gaillard Center Arts Precinct Project will augment those lessons, demonstrating through process and product how cities can transform their public realm into vibrant places that celebrate artistic engagement, said Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr., City of Charleston.
Spoleto Festival USA has been proud to work with the City and other community partners on a wide variety of projects that have served to protect and enhance the arts infrastructure in Charleston. It is on the basis of this history, and its position as a significant stakeholder in the Gaillard Center Arts Precinct, that Spoleto Festival USA has been brought into the project to assist in the design process. Spoleto will lend its expertise to ensure that the Arts Precinct becomes not only an excellent venue for outdoor performance but also an exemplary civic space that works to the mutual benefit of artists, audiences, and the community at large. – Nigel Redden, General Manager, Spoleto Festival USA, Project Partner.
The Gaillard Performance Hall Foundation is making a significant commitment to advancing the Gaillard Center project. We endorse and support the planned Arts Precinct project as a natural extension of our commitment. – Bruce Marquis, Executive Director, Gaillard Performance Hall Foundation, Project Partner.