Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Asphalt Art Initiative is designed to fund visual art interventions on roadways, pedestrian spaces, and public infrastructure in small- and medium-sized U.S. cities (pop. 30,000-500,000) with the goal of improving street and pedestrian safety, revitalizing and beautifying underutilized public space, and promoting collaboration and civic engagement in local communities.
To that end, the initiative will award grants of up to $25,000 to ten cities. Each grant must be used to design and implement at least one project in the applicant city during calendar year 2020.
Cities with populations between 30,000 and 500,000 are welcome to apply. Only one application per city will be accepted.
Each application must specify:
Lead Applicant — A city agency responsible for advancing necessary permitting and oversight of the site and installation (e.g., Department of Transportation, Department of Public Works, or other appropriate agency)
Fiscal Agent — An organization with 501(c)(3) nonprofit status that can receive the grant funds and be responsible for managing the distribution and procurement required.
In addition, each application must identify which entity or individual is responsible for the below functions. Each of these functions may be fulfilled by the Lead Applicant or Fiscal Agent, or by an additional entity (city agency, nonprofit community or arts organization, or individual artist or consultant) that are part of the Project Team:
Project Management — Responsibility for the day-to-day management and implementation of the project, as well as ensuring smooth communication and collaboration between government agencies, community organizations, and individual volunteers
Creative Vision — Responsibility for the creative vision of the project. This function may be fulfilled by a specified artist/designer if they have already been selected, or by a team member responsible for overseeing artist selection.
(The foundation understands that each Project Team is unique and requests that applicants do their best to represent the makeup of its team.)
Each application must have a site identified for the proposed asphalt art project (or sites, if multiple are feasible within the budget). Eligible sites can include portions of active roadways, sidewalks, pedestrian plazas, or transportation infrastructure such as traffic barriers, highway underpasses, or utility boxes.
Proposed projects may be temporary (lasting for just a few months), long-term (lasting over twelve months), or permanent. All projects should include an appropriate plan for maintenance of the art for the duration of its installation. Projects with a defined end date should include a plan for removal.
Competitive proposals will clearly demonstrate that the project addresses a challenge faced by the identified site, the surrounding neighborhood, or the city (e.g., traffic safety, underutilized public space, neighborhood blight, etc.); that the characteristics of the chosen site (e.g., physical layout, traffic or pedestrian volume, neighborhood context) are such that an intervention of this nature has a high likelihood of success; and that the project engages the local community in its planning, development, and execution.
For additional information, including detailed eligibility and selection criteria, see the Asphalt Art initiative.