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Posts Tagged ‘Ford Foundation’

February 5, 2014

Design Access Summit Convening Feb 19-21

Leaders and experts from the fields of design, philanthropy, nonprofit, and government will be convening February 19th-21st in Northern California’s Marin Headlands for Public Architecture’s third annual Design Access Summit. The nontraditional convention format offers (invitation-only) participants a place “to build their professional relationships, to collaborate on impactful projects, and to examine complex issues from new perspectives.” With support from the Ford Foundation, leaders from CANNON Design, University of Texas at Austin, Gensler, National Resource Defense Council, and many other high-profile institutions will convene around the themes of Intention vs. Impact; Concept vs. Connection; Isolation vs. Inclusion; and Recovery vs. Resilience.

This year’s summit will focus on the opportunity for anchor institutions to play a critical role in the success and well-being of local, low-income communities. We will discuss and advance the leading edge of this work, particularly the role of democratic participation in anchor institution design processes, planning and public policy. At the foreground of the dialogue will be active projects in South Texas and other regions.

Click here to read more about Design Access Summit 2014 on Follow the conversation Feb 19-21 on Twitter with #designaccess.

February 3, 2014

Reminder: Good Pitch NYC Due Tomorrow


Do you have a film that is tackling a national or global issue and need help with outreach? Tomorrow is the last day to submit your film trailer for the sixth annual Good Pitch2 New York City and a chance to secure funding and mentorship. Each selected filmmaking team will have 7 minutes to pitch their film and outreach campaign plan at the one-day event in New York City on June 17, 2014. Previous teams have been awarded between $8,000 to $1,000,000 to help reach their audience engagement ambitions.

Click here to apply to Good Pitch2 NYC, online at

January 21, 2014

Good Pitch Opens Call for Films on Social Issues

As we’ve covered and encouraged in previous posts (here, here, and here are just a few examples), storytelling through film is an excellent and accessible medium to share projects, initiatives, and transformational events, especially in the field of public interest design. Two upcoming Good Pitch2 events in New York and Sydney are providing a platform to share and access support for documentary films that address social issues. In partnership with BRITDOC and Sundance Documentary Film Program and with support from the Ford Foundation, Good Pitch2 New York and Australia are calling for “outstanding documentaries that can be used as a powerful medium at the heart of local, national and international campaigns with the purpose of making a sustainable difference.” Applications for 60+ minute long films are due by February 4, 2014, for New York’s event on June 17, 2014, and on April 10, 2014, for Australia’s event at the Sydney Opera House on October 8, 2014.

Good Pitch brings together filmmakers with NGOs, foundations, philanthropists, social entrepreneurs, potential corporate and brand partners, broadcasters and media with leading social issues – to forge powerful alliances around ground breaking films that are good for all these partners, good for the films and good for society. In 2011, a satellite version of the forum, called Good Pitch² (Good Pitch Squared) was launched, with the generous support of the Ford Foundation. Each of the filmmaking teams has just 7 minutes to pitch their film and associated outreach campaign. Afterwards the moderator leads a feedback session from participants around the roundtable and from the floor. A good pitch will lead to new sources of funding, and access to mass membership, research and experts, archives and lobbying.

Click here to read more about upcoming Good Pitch2 events, online at

January 24, 2012

ArtPlace names finalists for second grant cycle

Just a little over two months ago, more than 2,000 letters of inquiry flowed into ArtPlace–the newly-established consortium that supports creative placemaking with grants and loans, research, and advocacy. In another sign of its nimbleness and efficiency, ArtPlace has already narrowed the field to 127 finalists, representing 68 cities.

The selected projects represent the best of the more than 2,000 applications from across the country. Finalists were chosen for their potential to have a transformative impact on community vibrancy. Proposed projects run the gamut from temporary art spaces to permanent performance venues, from music festivals to art walks and from streetscaping to artist residencies.

Click here to read the official release and list of finalists on the ArtPlace website.

December 7, 2011

GOOD 100: “Landesman is the new Florida”

GOOD has issued what its editors are calling “a collection of people, things, and ideas we’re betting on.” The “GOOD 100” has its own dedicated website, structured around the new, as in “_______ is the new _______.” Put another way, if you like X, you’ll love Y. There are at least three design-related entries among the 100, all authored by‘s own John Cary. The first among them suggests that “Rocco Landesman is the new Richard Florida,” referring to the NEA Chairman and creative class guru, respectively.

With the NEA’s budget under perpetual scrutiny, Landesman has taken to leveraging his agency’s small sum, rather than just complaining or begging for more. He has struck deals and forged partnerships with multiple other better-funded agencies, among them the EPA, HHS, and HUD, to name a few. Landesman best role is that of a convener; he recently enlisted the broader philanthropic sector to support what he and his team have coined the term “creative placemaking”–linking design and public space, with a focus on economic outcomes and jobs created. Creative placemaking is now the hallmark of a major funding consortium, called ArtPlace, comprised of the top foundations in the country, among them the Bloomberg, Ford, Rockefeller, and Kresge foundations.

Click here to read why Rocco Landesman is the new Richard Florida.

September 28, 2011

Living Cities celebrates two decades of service

Yesterday, funding conglomerate Living Cities officially celebrated its 20th anniversary. Created in 1991, Living Cities unites the interests and investments of 22 of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions, all with an eye toward making cities better. Partners range from philanthropic powerhouses like the Gates, Ford Foundation, Kresge, MacArthur, McKnight, Rockefeller, and Surdna Foundations, among many others, to financial institutions such as Bank of America and Deutsche Bank. Over the past two decades, Living Cities has strategically invested nearly $1 billion, while leveraging many times that–$16 billion by estimates.

Our friends at Next American City live-blogged the Living Cities anniversary festivities, which culminated in a keynote presentation by HUD Sec. Shaun Donovan and a panel with experts working across the country. As highlighted by Sec. Donovan, himself an architect, dignifying design is a vital ingredient for the projects supported by Living Cities. Another crucial component emphasized by Sec. Donovan, Living Cities CEO Ben Hecht, and virtually every other speaker was communication with and between stakeholders. This last point was and remains a fundamental premise of this website as we chronicle public interest design–a movement in the making.

Also of note, Living Cities sports a brand new website, designed by Bureau Blank.

September 15, 2011

ArtPlace launches with $11.5 million in grants

As announced in today’s print edition of The New York Times, a new consortium of funders has joined forces to launch a game-changing, public/private partnership, called ArtPlace. The effort takes the approach of creative platemaking, a decades-old practice that drives growth and revitalization in cities and towns, putting the arts at the center of economic development. In only its first round of funding, ArtPlace announced 34 grants, totaling $11.5 million, “from Honolulu to Miami.” Each of the funded projects is graphically represented on the brand new website.

A collaboration of top national foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, and various federal agencies, the mission and goal of ArtPlace is to accelerate creative placemaking across the U.S. Accordingly, the funders are a veritable who’s who, but not just usual suspects; taken together, they illustrate substantial support for the arts, design, and placemaking. ArtPlace is directed by Carol Coletta, while its grants are administered through the Nonprofit Finance Fund, with an additional $12 million loan fund capitalized by six major financial institutions.

ArtPlace is now inviting “Letters of Inquiry from initiatives involving arts organizations, artists, and designers working in partnership with local and national partners to produce a transformative impact on community vibrancy.” Click here to access the online LOI submission form, due by November 15, 2011.

July 15, 2011

Teddy Cruz Wins Ford Foundation Award

In conjunction with its ongoing 75th anniversary celebrations, the Ford Foundation announced in May that a dozen individuals would receive special Ford Foundation Visionaries Awards. The award includes an unrestricted gift of $100,000. Among the recipients is public interest design leader Teddy Cruz, well known for his advocacy to transform the poor and overlooked neighborhoods of the Tijuana-San Diego border region, teaching at the University of California-San Diego, and recent affordable housing work in New York.

The video debuted during “The Just City,” the Ford Foundation forum held yesterday in New York. Click here to watch an introductory video about The Just City; Next American City also live-blogged the event; and Urban Omnibus expects to publish its own recap in the coming days.

July 14, 2011

Today: “The Just City” Ford Foundation Forum

Continuing its 75th anniversary celebration, the Ford Foundation is hosting a special convening today, called The Just City: Creating a New Geography of Opportunity. It will unite “civic leaders and policymakers, urban designers and entrepreneurs–to explore how fairness, opportunity and equity can serve as the defining features of this new era of urbanization.”

Speakers include the likes of Carol Coletta, Director of the soon-to-be-announced ArtPlace; HUD Sec. Shaun Donovan; Living Cities President & CEO Ben Hecht; Center for American Progress Senior Fellow Van Jones; The Brookings Institution‘s Bruce Katz; and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. Attendees will also hear a video presentation from public interest design advocate Teddy Cruz, recent recipient of the $100,000 Ford Foundation Visionary Award.

Follow @FordJustCity on Twitter and via the hashtag #justcity. Click here to access the Ford Foundation’s live blog, and for Next American City‘s live blog, visit

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