Project Row Houses (PRH), Houston’s acclaimed art nonprofit in the Third Ward, received a $400,000 grant from The Kresge Foundation as part of a new creative placemaking initiative. The umbrella initiative is called Building and Supporting Equitable Development (BASED), which seeks to advance community development through arts and culture.
PRH’s award is a portion of an $8 million effort by Kresge’s Arts & Culture Program to position culture and creativity as drivers of more just communities, and to develop a platform for continued learning for Kresge staff and grantees around strengthening racial equity and inclusion.
States Eureka Gilkey, Executive Director of PRH: “Being part of the Kresge Foundation’s BASED initiative gives PRH an incredible opportunity to work with and learn from our peers around the country, and it could not have happened at a better time. Kresge’s focus on racial equality … puts them in perfect alignment with our vision for a dynamic, reinvigorated Third Ward that celebrates and elevates our neighbors, culture, and community.”
Says Regina R. Smith, Managing Director of the Kresge Arts & Culture Program: “While there are a substantial number of community development organizations that have successfully integrated Creative Placemaking into their broader neighborhood strategies, many of these organizations are facing staffing, policy and funding hurdles. BASED aims to strengthen these organizations and expand efforts that integrate Creative Placemaking into place-based work happening in cities across the United States.”
This is a three-year pilot program in two phases, and PRH is one of 20 grantees, 11 of which have been selected for 2019. The list includes Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, New York, NY, and East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation, Oakland, CA. For a complete list please go here.
PRH’s work is rooted in the Third Ward with the community members at its core. Through their arts programs, community enrichment, and neighborhood development activities, PRH is addressing the community’s needs in ways like providing long-term, safe, and affordable housing for Third Ward residents, and determining creative solutions and connecting with strategic partners. The Kresge grant will help PRH’s Financial Opportunity Center, currently under development, which will aid residents with tools and training to build a strong financial foundation, consider new career pathways, and access a network of social services, allowing them to continue living in their community.