Art Works Blog

From the Hill

Washington, DC

Today Rocco was on Capitol Hill to testify before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies chaired by James P. Moran (D-VA) with Ranking Member Michael K. Simpson (R-ID). The Chairman presented the President's Fiscal Year 2011 budget request of $161.3 million, which includes support for the agency's ongoing program and partnership grants. The budget request also includes funding for Our Town, which seeks to invest $5 million in 35 communities for projects that put the arts at the center of creating sustainable, livable communities.

Speaking on the proposed Our Town program, the Chairman said:

We are extraordinarily proud of the success of our programs and the benefits that accrue to the American people. We believe, however, that there is an element of our grant programming that has been missing; an element that is particularly important today. This is, of course, the "Our Town" initiative presented in the FY 2011 budget.

Through "Our Town," we anticipate investing the proposed $5 million in up to 35 communities to support planning and design projects, and arts engagement strategies. The funded projects might include the mapping of a cultural district along with its development potential; the integration of public art into civic spaces; a community waterfront festival; affordable housing for low-income artists; rehearsal spaces to serve as research and development space for our performing arts companies; outdoor exhibitions and performances to enliven civic spaces and engage citizens; and on and on.

You can read the complete text of the Chairman's prepared testimony here.

Add new comment