Crucian Heritage and Nature Tourism (CHANT), a St. Croix organization focused on leveraging the big island’s heritage and nature for tourism, has been awarded $450,000 from ArtPlace America National Creative Placemaking Fund in 2016 for its project, Invisible Heritage: Identity Memory and Our Town.
The project involves fostering local artisanship for restoration and conservation work in the historic town of Frederiksted.
ArtPlace America’s Creative Placemaking Fund is a highly competitive national program that invests money in communities across the country in which artists, arts organizations, and arts and culture activities will help drive community development change, according to CHANT.
CHANT’s project is one of 29 chosen from almost 1,400 applications to receive funding, according to Frandelle Gerard, executive director.
“We are so excited, not just for CHANT and our partners at Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts, but also for the town of Frederiksted … . This is also a workforce development project and will provide training and employment opportunities in traditional building arts for the young people of the town,” Gerard said.
“Creative Placemaking seeks the full and robust integration of arts, culture, and community-engaged design into the decisions that define the ebb and flow of community life. These grant recipients embody what this looks like at its most effective best,” according to Rip Rapson, president and chief executive officer of The Kresge Foundation and chair of the ArtPlace President’s Council.
ArtPlace America’s Creative Placemaking Fund makes awards to support projects in the sectors of agriculture and food; economic development; education and youth; environment and energy; health; housing; immigration; public safety; transportation; or workforce development.
Invisible Heritage: Identity Memory and Our Town is a collaborative project with CHANT and the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts.
CHANT has identified a collective of local artisans that will develop a local school to provide the education and certification necessary for locals to be eligible for the preservation investments planned in the years to come.
“We are grateful to our public and private sector partners for helping to develop the full scope of the project," said Monica Marin, cultural preservation and restoration coordinator of the Department of Public Works and artist advisory chair of the CMCArts.
The complete list of the 2016 projects for ArtPlace’s National Creative Placemaking Fund may be found at http://www.artplaceamerica.org/our-work/national-creative-placemaking-fund/introduction.