A community rejuvenation project proposed by Crucian Heritage and Nature Tourism Inc. is one of 80 projects being considered by ArtPlace America for its competitive 2016 National Creative Placemaking Fund, CHANT announced on Tuesday.
The 80 projects being considered for funding was narrowed down from 1,361 applications. In December, ArtPlace America will announce the final projects in which it will invest a total of $10.5 million.
The National Creative Placemaking Fund is a program that invests money in communities across the nation in which artists, arts organizations and arts activity will help drive community development projects. Those projects address challenges or opportunities related to agriculture and food; economic development; education and youth; environment and energy; health; housing; immigration; public safety; transportation; or workforce development.
CHANT has proposed a multifaceted project that will provide training and apprenticeship opportunities as a component of the rehabilitation of vernacular historical structures in the historic Free Black neighborhood “Free Gut.” The project will deploy arts and culture as an integral component of community rejuvenation with the assistance of the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts.
“Rejuvenating the history of the enslaved and free blacks who built and lived in this community is important to Caribbean history and American history, and these under-told stories need to be researched, documented and celebrated,” CHANT said in a press release.
As the next step in the funding consideration process, CHANT will complete a more extensive application and schedule a site visit with an ArtPlace staff member and a national peer expert for this summer.
CHANT is a Virgin Islands nonprofit officially established in 2007 to support the development of heritage and nature tourism as a lead tourism product for St. Croix. CHANT’s vision is to spark sustainable tourism on St. Croix by establishing the island as one of the leading heritage and nature tourism destinations in the world.
By focusing on development from within, CHANT’s program seeks to serve as an engine for sustainable economic development and contribute to a new era of increased broad-based prosperity and community pride.
ArtPlace America is a 10-year collaboration among 16 partners foundations, along with eight federal agencies and six financial institutions, that work to position arts and culture as a core sector of comprehensive community planning and development in order to help strengthen the social, physical and economic fabric of communities.