Phoenix's Roosevelt Row Art District gets $150K for revitalization

June 12, 2012
Phoenix Business Journal
Matt Haldane

The Roosevelt Row Arts District has been awarded $150,000 for revitalization.

The money is coming from ArtPlace, a collaboration of 11 national and regional foundations, six banks and eight federal agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts.

ArtPlace pooled nearly $50 million for “strategic investments in the arts” in communities nationwide. Of 2,100 applications, 47 were selected to receive grants.

“Phoenix deserves a great cultural community art district,” said Cindy Dach, executive director of the Roosevelt Row Community Development Corp.

The money will be used for three projects, all of which were specified in the application for the grant, Dach said. Roosevelt Row will put on a Feast on the Street event, do streetscape planning, and turn shipping containers into art studios.

The Feast on the Street is being put together by Phoenix artist Matt Moore and Clare Patey, who is responsible for the Feast on the Bridge in London. The local arts and culinary event, scheduled for April 2013, will span from Taylor Place on the downtown campus of Arizona State University to Margaret T. Hance Park at Interstate 10, Dach said.

The funding will also go toward streetscape planning beyond the stretch from Central Avenue to Fourth Street that the city is already working on. Dach conceded that the group does not have enough money for actual construction, but she said she hopes the grant will help promote growth in the area.

“Our vision is to connect 16th Street to Grand Avenue,” Dach said. “This will help fund the dialogue to help make that happen.”

The grant also will fund the Adaptive Reuse of Temporary Space project, creating the ARTS Village. Shipping containers are being repurposed in unique ways all over the country, Dach said, and “this will be our version.”

She said Roosevelt Row will be looking into additional fundraising.

“We’re successful as a destination, but there’s just so much more it can be,” she said.

The Phoenix Mayor’s Office was “extremely pleased” to hear about the grant, said Brendan Mahoney, senior policy adviser to Mayor Greg Stanton.

“To get that kind of national recognition ... really says something about the quality of people that are there,” he said.

He said Stanton sees a strong downtown area as important not just to the city and the state, but to the Southwest.

“It’s a really prestigious award,” Mahoney said, and it offers a “good opportunity to showcase all parts of Phoenix.”

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