building renovation

ArtHouse Interior and Exterior pre-Intervention

ArtHouse is one of four winning projects of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge, a grant program that supports projects in which local governments work with artists to create public art that celebrates creativity, enhances urban identity, and inspires economic growth. The project transforms a 15,000 square foot facility in downtown Gary into a cultural hub showcasing culinary and visual arts. The City of Gary will use this public space to help spur artistic and economic activity and to promote ethical redevelopment of the downtown district.

It is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies through its Public Art Challenge initiative.  Additional funding is provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation's 2015 Knight Cities Challenge.

An aerial view of downtown Gary

An aerial view of downtown Gary

About Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge
In October 2014, Bloomberg Philanthropies invited U.S. mayors of cities with 30,000 residents or more to collaborate with artists and arts organizations on developing innovative public art projects that engage residents and attract visitors. After receiving 237 applications that covered a wide range of local and civic issues, Bloomberg Philanthropies selected four winning projects to receive up to $1 million each as part of its Public Art Challenge – a new program designed to support temporary public art projects that celebrate creativity, enhance urban identity, encourage public-private partnerships, and drive economic development.

In June, 2015 Bloomberg Philanthropies announced the winning projects:

  • Albany, Schenectady, and Troy, NY – Breathing Lights
  • Gary, IN – ArtHouse: A Social Kitchen
  • Los Angeles, CA – CURRENT: LA River
  • Spartanburg, SC – Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light

Each project aims to address a local civic issue, such as vacant housing, neighborhood revitalization, water conservation, or crime prevention. Grantees will develop and execute their projects over 24 months. The Public Art Challenge grant covers development, execution, and project-related expenditures but does not fund 100% of project costs. The grant is intended to provide catalytic funds as part of a strong, committed consortium of supporters, both public and private. More information on the Public Art Challenge and the winning ideas can be found at: publicartchallenge.bloomberg.org.

About Knight Cities Challenge
The Knight Cities Challenge (KCC) funds projects that make cities more vibrant places to live and work. Knight Foundation's mission is to create more informed and engaged communities, specifically in the 26 cities where the Knight brothers once owned newspapers.  It does so by investing in civic innovators who use media and journalism, community engagement and the arts, to attract and keep talented people, expand economic opportunity, and foster a culture of engagement.  The foundation believes that designing spaces to achieve these goals is key to cities' success. More at knightcities.org.