arts grants aimed at strengthening north collinwood community and youth

Seven is a lucky number for North Collinwood's burgeoning arts community, as a like-numbered group of the neighborhood's creative thinkers recently received grants from the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC).

The seven artists, most working out of North Collinwood's Waterloo Arts and Entertainment District as part of CPAC's "Artists in Residence" initiative, will get a total of $45,000 in funding for projects including a music education series for local children and an "intergenerational story circle" starring some of the community elderly residents, says CPAC strategic initiative director Seth Beattie.

The grants will address community priorities through arts activities between this month and the end of March. Overarching themes of the grant cycle are residents, community assets and youth involvement. CPAC is awarding the grants in conjunction with the nonprofit Northeast Shores Development Corporation.

"We had 30 proposals this time around," says Beattie of CPAC's second of three grant periods; the third round will come next spring. "These particular ones rose to the top."

The grants are a component of the Artists in Residence program, which is using the North Collinwood neighborhood as "a laboratory" for increasing artists’ engagement with the population, says CPAC president and CEO Tom Schorgl. Area painters, sculptors, videographers and musicians are given perks like affordable housing with the hope they will be a major participant in neighborhood revitalization.

"Artists want communities where they can live affordably with a great quality of life," says Beattie. "They can be a tremendous force in absorbing space in the neighborhood. Collinwood is poised to see a dramatic turnaround in the coming years."

The Waterloo Road arts district can be part of that transformation, with CPAC's latest granting round a good beginning on getting that done, believe the organization's leaders.

"We're marrying strengths here," Beattie says. "It's about money and developing a system of support that helps artists build up projects now and in the future."

SOURCE: Tom Schorgl, Seth Beattie
WRITER: Douglas J. Guth
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