Image: Bloomberg Philanthropies

Jackson, Mississippi has been selected as a finalist to receive up to $1 million as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge, a program that aims to foster creative collaboration, address civic issues, and support local economies through public art.

More than 200 cities applied, and Jackson, Mississippi along with 13 other cities, has been invited to submit a full proposal, said a city press release issued today.

The City of Jackson has proposed a city-wide exhibition with installations and performances dubbed “Inspiring Dialogue about Food Access: Fertile Ground” to promote dialogue and inform policy related to food access. Installations and performances that explore food sovereignty, nutrition, domestic hunger, and the agrarian landscape will be deployed across areas of the city experiencing food access issues.

Proposed projects sites include locations at Belhaven Park in Belhaven along the Museum to Market trail, the Farmacy in the Jane Avenue neighborhood, “lunch streets” efforts in downtown, the ecoSHED between the Virden Addition and Fondren neighborhoods, and near Galloway Elementary in the Mid City area.

“After housing and transportation, food access and public art are two of the most important equity concerns of our time,” Department of Planning and Develop Director Dr. Mukesh Kumar said. “In this project, our goal is to bring awareness and engage the community in solving it.”

Earlier this year, mayors of U.S. cities with 30,000 residents or more were invited by Bloomberg to submit proposals for temporary public art projects. Eligible projects would need to address important civic issues and demonstrate an ability to generate public-private collaborations, celebrate creativity and urban identity, and strengthen local economies.

At least three winners will be chosen by Bloomberg in the fall to execute their projects over a maximum of 24 months. The grant is intended to provide catalytic funds as part of a strong, committed consortium of supporters. As such, the Bloomberg Philanthropies grants will cover project-related expenditures including development, execution, and marketing, but will not fund 100 percent of the total project costs.

More information about the Public Art Challenge can be found at publicartchallenge.bloomberg.org.

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