President Obama highlights ArtPlace’s Community Development Investments—a new grant program to aid local organizations in deploying creative placemaking strategies to shape the social, physical, and economic futures of their communities
ZUNI PUEBLO, NM – Aug. 31, 2015 – Today, President Obama announced that the Zuni Youth Enrichment Project (ZYEP) is one of six organizations selected to participate in the ArtPlace America Community Development Investments (CDI) program. Over the course of three years, ZYEP will receive $3 million to incorporate arts and cultural strategies into its community development work.
“Our artistic heritage is an integral part of Zuni life,” said Val Panteah, Governor of the Zuni Pueblo. “We are delighted that ZYEP has been selected to build upon this inherent strength to create a healthier and more vibrant Zuni.”
Dr. Tom Faber, ZYEP’s Executive Director noted: “ZYEP’s mission is rooted in the belief that connecting youth with their traditions is the foundation of a healthy Zuni community. We could not be more excited about this opportunity to partner with ArtPlace, the Tribe, and the Zuni arts community to help make Zuni an even better place to live.”
“Arts and culture are too often left out of community planning conversations,” said Jamie Bennett, ArtPlace’s Executive Director. “Zuni Youth Enrichment Project is prepared to demonstrate the unique value that artists and arts organizations can bring to its youth and family programs. 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.”
“Zuni Youth Enrichment Project deserves to be lauded for incorporating arts and culture into the community engagement, planning, and implementation of its work going forward,” said Rip Rapson, President of the Kresge Foundation and chairman of the ArtPlace collaboration. “This is a bold step to help build a stronger and healthier Pueblo.”
ZYEP serves children and families in the Native American Pueblo of Zuni in rural New Mexico, by promoting health, wellness, and cultural connection. A model for positive youth development in Native communities, ZYEP engages children in fun and enriching activities focused on physical activity and good health. Summer camp, community gardens, sports leagues, community trails, and after school programs are just some of the ways ZYEP works to build a healthier community.
The Zuni community is a community of artists tied to some of the most intact traditions, language and culture in Native America today. By participating in the ArtPlace Community Development Investments Program, ZYEP will demonstrate what is possible when art is incorporated into the very foundations of community development and public health.
ZYEP will host a community forum for anyone interested in learning more about their work and ArtPlace’s CDI program on Oct. 15, 2015 at 5 p.m. MT at the Harker Circle Fairgrounds (Zuni Pueblo, NM).
To view the full list of organizations participating in the Community Development Investments program, please visit www.artplaceamerica.org.
About ArtPlace America
ArtPlace America (ArtPlace) is a ten-year collaboration of foundations, banks, and federal agencies that exists to position art and culture as a core sector of comprehensive community planning and development in order to help strengthen the social, physical, and economic fabric of communities. Visit www.artplaceamerica.org for more information.