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August 31, 2015

Fairmount Park Conservancy joins federal arts program

The Conservancy will receive $3 million as part of ArtPlace program

Parks and Recreation Fairmount Park
The Cliffs Fairmount Park Wikipedia Commons/Google

The Cliffs in Fairmount Park

The Fairmount Park Conservancy is among six organizations nationwide selected to participate in the ArtPlace America Community Development Investments program, President Barack Obama announced Monday.

As part of the program, the Conservancy will receive $3 million over three years to incorporate arts and cultural strategies into its work.

ArtPlace America has invested $67 million in 227 projects in 152 communities since 2011.

“The Fairmount Park Conservancy is prepared to demonstrate the unique value that artists and arts organizations can bring to its civic life and economic development initiatives," ArtPlace Executive Director Jamie Bennett said in a statement. "They will serve as a national model for any place-based community development organization looking to work more comprehensively and inclusively to build a healthy, thriving community.”

The Conservancy works with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation to lead signature projects, develop innovative programs and maintain historic preservation efforts throughout Fairmount Park. The organization originally was founded as a fundraising arm for the former Fairmount Park Commission.

The funding will be used to build new arts-based partnerships and to implement new programs and ideas emerging from those partnerships. The Conservancy will host a community forum for anyone interested in learning more about its work and the ArtPlace program on Oct. 22 at 4 p.m. at the Please Touch Museum.

"Building upon the rich history of arts and culture within Fairmount Park, we look forward to working with Philadelphia’s extraordinary local artists, arts organizations, and cultural institutions as we infuse arts strategies into our efforts to enhance and activate our city’s parks and recreational spaces,” Conservancy Executive Director Kathryn Ott Lovell said in a statement.