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Baltimore among finalists for up to $1 million public art grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies

Baltimore is one of 14 cities that could receive up to $1 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies to support public art projects.

The city was selected as a finalist for Bloomberg Philanthropies’ 2018 Public Art Challenge, a program that uses art to support economies, address civic issues and foster collaboration between public and private groups, according to Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Bloomberg Philanthropies in February called for cities with at least 30,000 residents to submit proposals for temporary public art projects that would tackle crucial civic issues, create public-private collaborations, celebrate urban identities and bolster local economies.

Under Baltimore’s proposal, “The Baltimore Resurgence Project,” the city would create a series of murals and landscape projects aimed at reducing violence and enhancing public safety. The Arts & Parks nonprofit, the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, and the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice would collaborate on the installations.

At least three winning cities will be selected in the fall after the 14 finalists submit more detailed proposals. Winners, which would all be eligible for up to $1 million, will have two years to implement their projects.

Other finalist cities include Anchorage, Ala.; Camden, N.J.; El Paso, Texas; St. Louis; and Seattle.

Bloomberg Philanthropies’ grants will not fund the cities’ projects entirely, but they will cover project-related costs including development, execution and marketing.

Bloomberg has previously invested in Baltimore. In 2013, businessman and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is behind Bloomberg Philanthropies, gave the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health its largest gift to date, a $300 million contribution. Baltimore is also one of seven new cities where Bloomberg Philanthropies plans to invest a total of $43 million in arts and culture nonprofits through its Arts Innovation and Management program.

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