Pogo Park was named a finalist for a grant from ArtPlace America’s 2017 National Creative Placemaking Fund
This extremely competitive national grant program will consider 70 projects
Today, ArtPlace America announced that Pogo Park, a Richmond-based community non-profit organization that transforms little-used city parks into vibrant green spaces for children to play, is a finalist for the 2017 National Creative Placemaking Fund (NCPF). ArtPlace selected only 70 out of 987 applications, making Pogo Park's "Yellow Brick Road" project one of only 7% of projects across the country to make this cut.
ArtPlace’s National Creative Placemaking Fund is a highly competitive and prestigious national program. Investing money in communities across the country, ArtPlace helps drive change across 10 sectors of community planning and development: agriculture and food; economic development; education and youth; environment and energy; health; housing; immigration; public safety; transportation; or workforce development.
A team of youth from Richmond's Iron Triangle neighborhood proposed the Yellow Brick Road concept in 2009 as a solution to the violence that was plaguing their community. Their visionary idea: stencil yellow bricks across roads and sidewalks to designate a safe bike and walking route through their neighborhood that connected community assets (such as schools, parks, and churches) together.
Working in partnership with the city of Richmond, Pogo Park recently secured a $6.2 million grant from the California Transportation Commission to build the first leg of the Yellow Brick Road – and actualize the dreams of the youth who envisioned this project eight years ago.
If awarded, a 2017 National Creative Placemaking Fund (NCPF) grant will allow Pogo Park to work with its team of artisan builders and community residents to transform the Yellow Brick Road into a “walkable piece of art.”
Community residents will partner with Iron Triangle businesses that include Scientific Art Studio, a renowned custom fabrication shop; Lawrence Construction, a custom woodworking shop; and Ferrous Studios, one of the top ironworks shop in the Bay Area. Together they plan to stencil yellow bricks, build and install handmade benches and way-finding signs, and create small children's playspaces along the Yellow Brick Road route.
“These finalists are extraordinary examples of the ways that artists, arts organizations, and communities are thinking about working together,” said ArtPlace Director of National Grantmaking F. Javier Torres. “We look forward to learning more about all of them, as we visit with them this summer.”
“Each of these projects has proposed something extraordinary and important,” added ArtPlace Executive Director Jamie Bennett. “We would love to be able to invest in all of them, and know that the choices ahead of us will be extraordinarily difficult.”
The complete list of the 2017 finalists for ArtPlace’s National Creative Placemaking Fund may be found here.
About Pogo Park
Founded in 2007, Pogo Park is a community-based 501c3 nonprofit in Richmond, California. We work to transform little-used and neglected city parks in one of America's toughest inner-city neighborhoods into safe, beautiful and vibrant places for children to play. We hire, train, and empower local community residents (those who know their neighborhood best) to design, build, and now manage these parks themselves. Our project has energized and electrified the neighborhood, and a wave of positive energy and impact is rippling out into the surrounding community, transforming both the people and the place.
About ArtPlace America ArtPlace America (ArtPlace) is a ten-year collaboration among 16 partner foundations, along with 8 federal agencies and 6 financial institutions, that works 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.
ArtPlace focuses its work on creative placemaking, projects in which art plays an intentional and integrated role in place-based community planning and development. This brings artists, arts organizations, and artistic activity into the suite of placemaking strategies pioneered by Jane Jacobs and her colleagues, who believed that community development must be locally informed, human-centric, and holistic.