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Dearborn Receives $75K Grant for Artspace Project

Funds will be used to continue the project's pre-development phase.

The City of Dearborn and Dearborn Community Fund have been awarded a $75,000 grant, the National Endowment for the Arts announced Thursday.

The grant is one of 80 Our Town grants being awarded across the nation, totaling a $4.995 million investment in arts-related development projects.

Dearborn's grant will be used toward the pre-development process involved with the endeavor to bring Artspace to Dearborn, a collective effort of the DCF, city officials, and the .

Though the purchase agreement is not set, Artspace and city partners have expressed interest in making the current  the project's permanent home.

Funding from this grant will help determine the next steps in that process.

Dearborn Community Fund Director EmmaJean Woodyard explained that the grant is just one of many endowments the city is hoping to receive to help move the project along. Eventually, the partnership with Artspace is hoped to result in live-work space for local artists in Dearborn.

Woodyard said the DCF was happy to receive the funding.

"It's quite a thrill to get an NEA grant," she said. "They’re not easy to come by."

According to the NEA, "funded activities will include the selection of an underutilized building in an emerging and viable mixed-use area of downtown Dearborn, and conceptual and schematic design by an architectural consultant."

Through Our Town, the NEA supports creative "placemaking" projects that help transform communities into lively, beautiful, and sustainable places with the arts at their core. All Our Town grant awards were made to partnerships that consisted of a minimum of a not-for-profit organization and a local government entity.  

"Cities and towns are transformed when you bring the arts—both literally and figuratively—into the center of them,” said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. "From Teller, Alaska, to Miami, Florida, communities are pursuing creative placemaking, making their neighborhoods more vibrant and robust by investing in the performing, visual, and literary arts."

Rich July 13, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Gosh - I really didn't know that the City Hall was an "under-utilized" building.
Concerned Citizen July 13, 2012 at 04:15 PM
I just hope that the sale to Artppace is a cash sale as opposed to a land contract. We could be stuck with two city halls if Artspace defaults on a land contract. We do not need that kind of risk.
Sam Dungeon July 13, 2012 at 06:41 PM
With the Einsteins we have at City Hall we will be fortunate, if the sale actually goes thru.
Next Gen July 14, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Jessica -- Thank you for keeping Dearborn residents informed. In the course of your reporting, did you hear how much involvement the City of Dearborn provided in the grant application? For example, did the City just provide some blueprints, or did the City provide a grant writer? Further, looking at the NEA website for this grant, the grant requires a 1 to 1 match. Any idea who is providing the matching funds? Third, did you have access to ArtSpace's grant application? I ask all of these questions because I know Dearborn residents are extremely concerned about Mayor O'Reiley's foisting upon us the sale of our historic City Hall, then buying a multi-million dollar newer building, after the citizens voted for a City operating tax increase when the Mayor claimed we were in dire fiscal straits. (See NEA grant website: http://www.arts.gov/grants/apply/OurTown/index.html)
Concerned Citizen July 14, 2012 at 03:59 PM
This is great news. I hope the sale to Artspace goes through as planned.
Caryn July 16, 2012 at 04:56 PM
I too am excited and hope the ArtSpace project goes through as planned. ArtSpace has a track record of successful projects across the nation. While I thought at first the inclusion of City Hall in the mix was simply to introduce competition and keep land owners from boosting prices, the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Living a stone's throw from City Hall, I am excited about the potential impact this will have on the neighborhood and businesses at Michigan and Schaefer.
Dan Merritt July 16, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Very exciting news. Thanks for reporting the facts Jessica.

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