Five Organizations Receive Major Grants to Make Their Communities More Resilient Through Arts and Culture

Enterprise Community Partners selects local organizations to receive $100,000 to incorporate arts, culture and creativity into climate resilience projects

COLUMBIA, Md.  –  Aug. 2, 2017 – Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise) has awarded $100,000 to each of five community-based organizations nationwide to use arts and culture to make their communities more resilient. The grantees are based in Atlanta; Chicago; Duluth, Minn.; San Francisco; and Wayne, W.Va.

As part of its Climate and Cultural Resilience Grant Program, Enterprise selected these organizations based on proposals that use creative placemaking strategies to strengthen the connection between cultural resilience and climate resilience. The winning proposals identified a local climate resilience issue and defined projects in which residents, artists and other creative practitioners will build cultural resilience in response to the climate challenge.

Through its work rebuilding communities after natural disasters and strengthening them in preparation for future extreme weather and climate change, Enterprise has learned that for a community to be truly resilient, it must also focus on human networks and be sensitive to its unique culture. The Climate and Cultural Resilience Grant Program aims to connect climate and cultural resilience through creative placemaking, which is the intentional integration of arts, culture and creativity in community development.

“Our country’s low-income communities are often the most vulnerable to the growing challenges posed by extreme weather and natural disasters,” said Laurel Blatchford, senior vice president and chief program officer, Enterprise Community Partners. “While physical infrastructure is an important component of responding to these challenges, community resilience also relies on human networks and connections. We cannot build climate resilience without cultural resilience.”

Enterprise’s Climate and Cultural Resilience Grant Program is supported by generous funding from The Kresge Foundation, The Kendeda Fund, and HUD’s Capacity Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing Program.

“Each of the Climate and Cultural Resilience grantees will bring a unique focus on the role of arts, culture and creativity as central elements of a resilient community,” said Katie Swenson, vice president, national design initiatives, Enterprise. “The grantees have presented ideas about what community, culture and resilience means to them, and we are excited to see how this understanding develops through their work the grant program will support.”

Enterprise will serve as an advising partner for the grantees, providing technical assistance to their projects and guidance on creative placemaking strategies. The grantees represent a diverse group of projects and communities that will engage in a peer-learning cohort throughout the one-year grant period which began June 1, 2017:

American Indian Community Housing Organization – Duluth, Minn. – The American Indian Community Housing Organization will respond to the challenges of climate change by generating clean electricity, improving access to traditional foods and medicines, and helping community members become active in preparing for climate change.

WonderRoot  – Atlanta – WonderRoot’s project aims to build community understanding of design initiatives, embedding arts strategies into green infrastructure and rainwater retention efforts.

Center for Neighborhood Technology – Chicago – CNT will create a social and environmental justice initiative with local partners, developing four site-specific art and green infrastructure installations within a half-mile of transit stops in areas of high economic hardship.

Chinatown Community Development Center  – San Francisco – Chinatown CDC’s project seeks to enhance social cohesion and climate resilience through the building of partnerships with city government agencies and the implementation of an ecofair.

Coalfield Development  – Wayne, W.Va. – Coalfield Development’s project will provide out-of-work coal miners with retraining in reforestation, solar installation, furniture making and sustainable agriculture on former mountaintop removal sites.

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Enterprise is a proven and powerful nonprofit that improves communities and people's lives by making well-designed homes affordable. We bring together the nationwide know-how, partners, policy leadership and investments to multiply the impact of local affordable housing development. Over 35 years, Enterprise has created nearly 470,000 homes, invested $28.9 billion and touched millions of lives. Join us at www.EnterpriseCommunity.org.

The Kresge Foundation is a $3.6 billion private, national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and social investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services, and community development in Detroit. In 2015, the Board of Trustees approved 370 grants totaling $125.2 million, and nine social investment commitments totaling $20.3 million. For more information, visit kresge.org.

The Kendeda Fund is a private family foundation based in Atlanta, Georgia, that focuses on community-driven solutions and is dedicated to exploring how human beings can build a more just and equitable world, one in which we use resources wisely and relate to one another more mindfully. For more information, visit kendedafund.org.

HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at http://www.hud.govand http://espanol.hud.gov. You can also connect with HUD on social media or sign up for news alerts on HUD's Email List.