Breckenridge Creative Arts to receive $100,000 grant from National Endowment for the Arts | SummitDaily.com

Breckenridge Creative Arts to receive $100,000 grant from National Endowment for the Arts

Summit Daily staff report
news@summitdaily.com

Breckenridge Creative Arts, also known as BreckCreate, has been recommended to receive one of 60 grants awarded nationwide through the National Endowment for the Arts' Our Town projects.

The $100,000 grant will go to support "Ecoventions Breckenridge," a project done in a partnership with the town that employs the arts to achieve a series of ecological goals related to watershed health and wildfire prevention.

Our Town is the NEA's primary creative place-making grants program, according to the organization, which seeks to drive money to projects contributing to the livability of communities that place the arts at their core. Altogether, the NEA chairwoman Jane Chu announced 60 awards totaling $4.1 million in support of projects across the nation, according to a Wednesday news release.

"The variety and quality of these Our Town projects speaks to the wealth of creativity and diversity in our country," Chu said in the release. "Through the work of organizations such as Breckenridge Creative Arts, NEA funding invests in local communities, helping people celebrate the arts wherever they are."

Beginning in spring 2019, the BCA project will feature three site-specific public commissions created by an environmental artist or team of artists during a residency at the Breckenridge Arts District.

"We are grateful that the NEA has chosen to support our project, and humbled by this recognition," said Robb Woulfe, president and CEO of BCA. "This work will allow for education and awareness-raising not only around issues that concern our natural environment, but also places where the arts and community issues can intersect for mutual benefit."

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The installations will target local topics of ecological and public safety concern, including watersheds degraded by historic mining activities and the threat of wildfires amplified by beetle kill, according to the BCA.

A watershed sculpture designed to restore equilibrium to an adversely impacted ecosystem by San Francisco-based artists Daniel McCormick and Mary O'Brien will stand as the centerpiece of the local project. The artists accomplish this by using locally sourced natural materials, such as willow or beetle kill pine, and weaving them into large basket forms that are then live staked onto the site. The forms will be allowed to grow into silt traps, erosion control implements and fish habitat before eventually disappearing into the environment they were created to improve.

"The watershed sculpture in particular is unique in that it goes beyond art for art's sake," Woulfe said. "It combines the talents of artists with town planning expertise and that of ecological restoration experts to tackle an environmental problem affecting our community."

Additionally, "Ecoventions Breckenridge" will be bolstered by two supporting projects — an indoor and outdoor installation that raises awareness about the threat of wildfires, produced by Rotterdam-based Sicilian artist Giuseppe Licari, along with a solar-powered video installation that accumulates data from diverse information sources by New York-based artists Leila Nadir and Cary Peppermint of EcoArtTech.

For a complete list of projects recommended for Our Town grant support, go to Arts.gov. For more about the BCA, check out BreckCreate.org.