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What is Creative Placemaking? According to ArtScape, “Creative Placemaking is an evolving field of practice that intentionally leverages the power of the arts, culture and creativity to serve a community’s interest while driving a broader agenda for change, growth and transformation in a way that also builds character and quality of place. “For over a decade the Lexington Avenue Arts & Fun Festival has been trailblazing in community and economic development in the arts, by incubating small creative businesses, but especially by raising funds for the creation of art in public spaces. Essentially, we have turned the money our visitors spend on beer into art!

LAAFF has spent thousands of dollars on great art projects over the years, through generous encouragement of mini-projects at the event, and through spending on great programs such as The Asheville Mural Project, The Pritchard Park Cultural Arts Program, Moving Woman Dance Company, Aurora Studios and Gallery, The REACH educational hands on art program, and more.

In 2014, after LAAFF’s triumphant return to downtown, LAAFF instituted a program to grant new creative placemaking projects. This year, LAAFF has sponsored the Authentic Communities Summit 2015, the Fox and Beggar Theater’s Asheville debut of Tarocco, and the Asheville Music Professionals kids program in music production at the Burton Street Community Studio.

Looking ahead to the grant program in 2015, LAAFF seeks to fund great local projects that incorporate the arts, culture, and creativity into projects that are accessible, engaging, aesthetically inspiring, high profile, and which incubate the businesses of local artisans. Enhancement of infrastructure and the amelioration of social issues are also considered in the dissemination of these funds.

Arts 2 People is a non-profit social service organization devoted to promoting the role of the arts as an integral part of our culture by serving the entire community through arts outreach, bringing the arts to those in need of the healing power of art, supporting the careers of artists, and through community cultural development.

Arts 2 People Mission Statement:

1. We believe everyone should have access to the transformational power of creative expression. We offer classes to the general public on a sliding scale, and provide arts-in-education opportunities to underprivileged populations.

2. We see a need for local career artists, musicians and craftspeople to learn more about marketing themselves and networking with others in their field. We offer a variety of showcasing, networking, and mentoring opportunities for these professionals to increase their ability to be financially self-sufficient.

3. Lastly, we are committed to strengthening the reputation Asheville has as a haven for the arts. We want to make the arts so firmly established here that the future growth of Asheville will not weaken our identity as an artistic community.

Community Focus

Arts 2 People has hosted a variety of community meetings, all of which provide forum for the areas cultural creatives. These events have brought together social service and arts organizations, business owners, city officials, artists, the media, non-profit representatives and more. If you would like help in hosting a meeting, music and arts event, festival, workshop or some other creative endeavor, please email erin@arts2people.org.

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