Desert Botanical Garden and Spaces of Opportunity Receives funding from ArtPlace America’s 2016 National Creative Placemaking Fund

February 7, 2017


Dana Terrazas – Director of Marketing 
Phone: 480 481.8101


Desert Botanical Garden and Spaces of Opportunity
Receives funding from ArtPlace America’s 2016 National Creative Placemaking Fund

29 projects were chosen to receive $11 million in funding

ArtPlace America recently announced that the Desert Botanical Garden’s Spaces of Opportunity is one of 29 projects chosen, from almost 1400 applications, to receive funding through its National Creative Placemaking Fund in 2016.  Spaces of Opportunity is a partnership with Roosevelt Elementary School District and Cultivate South Phoenix to develop a community farm and garden in south Phoenix that will transform an 18-acre piece of land from a food desert to a food oasis. Spaces of Opportunity’s mission is to enable all families in south Phoenix to have affordable access to healthy food, active living and healthy roots of their cultures. 

ArtPlace America’s National Creative Placemaking Fund is a highly competitive national program – funding 2% of initial applications – that invests money in communities across the country in which artists, arts organizations, and arts and culture activity will help drive community development change in the sectors of agriculture and food; economic development; education and youth; environment and energy; health, housing; immigration; public safety; transportation; or workforce development. 

“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,” said Rip Rapson, president and CEO of The Kresge Foundation and Chair of the ArtPlace President’s Council. “The sheer volume of applications for these grants suggests the growing updraft of creative placemaking efforts throughout the nation.” 

“We are absolutely thrilled to be adding this dynamic set of projects to our portfolio this year,” says F. Javier Torres, Director of National Grantmaking. “The thoughtful and innovative strategies in this year’s projects are truly indicative of the vital role that artists and arts and culture organizations play in strengthening local policy, and the social, physical, and economic fabric of communities.” 

The complete list of the 2016 projects for ArtPlace’s National Creative Placemaking Fund may be found here.

 “The funding from ArtPlace will build out the physical infrastructure of the Spaces site, including the construction of south Phoenix’s first farmers market, an outdoor kitchen and learning center and a cultural performance area. It will also allow for continued financial support of the farmers, and connect to potable water and build out a solar power system, says Nic de la Fuente, project manager of Spaces. 

About Desert Botanical Garden
A “Phoenix Point of Pride”, the Desert Botanical Garden is one of only a few botanical gardens accredited by the American Association of Museums. It is a privately funded, non-profit organization and depends on revenues from admissions and gift shop sales, as well as contributions from individuals and businesses to fund its programs of environmental education, plant conservation and research

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.