Anchorage, AK

Mike Bloomberg Announces City of Anchorage Will Receive $1 Million for Public Art Project Addressing Climate Change & Economic Development

City Will Partner with the Anchorage Museum to Create “SEED Lab,” a Winning Project of the Bloomberg Philanthropies 2018 Public Art Challenge

Anchorage, AK – Today, environmentalist, philanthropist and former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg joined Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz at the Anchorage Museum to announce that the city has been named a 2018 Public Art Challenge winner. Anchorage will receive up to $1 million as part of the Public Art Challenge for its project, Solutions for Energy and Equity through Design (SEED) Lab.

The City will partner with the Anchorage Museum to turn a neglected downtown building in the city’s growing design district into a vibrant and vital cultural center.  SEED Lab seeks to build collaborations between artists, designers, engineers, and community members to draw attention to climate change and incubate solutions. Resulting projects will be prototyped with extensive community engagement.

“Alaska is experiencing the impacts of climate change twice as fast as the rest of the country,” Michael Bloomberg said. “But it’s not too late to make a difference. That’s what the SEED Lab is all about. And by featuring a wide variety of art works about climate change, I hope SEED Lab will inspire ideas for solutions not only in Alaska, but across the world.”

“We SEED because we want to grow local solutions to global problems like climate change,” said Mayor Berkowitz. “We SEED because harnessing the artistic talents and creativity within the Anchorage community can have worldwide impact. We are grateful to be selected as a 2018 Public Art Challenge winner—this project gives us the opportunity to act on pressing issues in a uniquely meaningful way.”

“We strongly believe in the power of this project to transform the idea of what public art can do to enhance and strengthen a community,” said Julie Decker, Director and CEO of the Anchorage Museum in Alaska. “We are thrilled to work with the Mayor and community members to bring this to life over the next two years.”

 About the Public Art Challenge:

In February, Bloomberg Philanthropies invited mayors of U.S. cities with 30,000 residents or more to submit proposals for temporary public art projects that address important civic issues, and demonstrate an ability to generate public-private collaborations, celebrate creativity and urban identity, and strengthen local economies.

More than 200 cities applied for the 2018 Public Art Challenge with proposals reflecting diverse artistic mediums addressed a range of pressing issues and social themes such as community development, environmental sustainability, cultural identity and immigration.  Fourteen finalists were announced in July. Additional winning cities will be announced in the coming weeks.

Submissions were evaluated on a number of factors, including their potential viability as dynamic public art projects, impact on civic issues, community engagement strategies, and capacity to establish or strengthen public-private partnerships.

Bloomberg Philanthropies has a proven track record of supporting creative and innovative public art. Over 400 cities have submitted proposals for consideration in the Public Art Challenge since 2014. The foundation’s inaugural Public Art Challenge catalyzed $13 million for local economies across the four winning regions and illuminated civic issues including economic decline, vacancy, water conservation and police-community relations.

More information about the Public Art Challenge can be found on http://publicartchallenge.bloomberg.org.

For photos from today’s announcement, please visit https://www.flickr.com/gp/mikebloomberg/x7G6f8.

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About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies works in 480 cities in more than 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2017, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $702 million. For more information, please visit www.bloomberg.org or follow us on FacebookInstagramSnapchat, and Twitter.

Media Contact
Bloomberg Philanthropies, Rebecca Carriero + 1 212-205-0182 or rebeccac@bloomberg.org

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