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News Release: McKnight approves over $19 million in third quarter of 2011, including $1 million to support creative placemaking

Contact info and related grants

The McKnight Foundation awarded 86 grants totaling $19,376,000 in its third-quarter 2011 grantmaking.

Of the $19.3 million total approved, $1 million went to the Nonprofit Finance Fund to support ArtPlace, an initiative of 11 of America's top foundations working in conjunction with the National Endowment for the Arts and seven federal agencies to accelerate "creative placemaking." In the creative placemaking model, investments engage partners from public, private, nonprofit, and community sectors to strategically shape the physical and social character of a neighborhood, town, city, or region around arts and cultural activities. Efforts supported by the ArtPlace collaborative will animate public and private spaces, rejuvenate structures and streetscapes, improve local business viability and public safety, and bring diverse people together to celebrate, inspire, and be inspired.

"ArtPlace represents a true 'best of both worlds' opportunity," says Robert J. Struyk, McKnight's board chair, "By participating in this joint strategic effort to support regional economic development with artists at the center, we have a chance to combine and reinforce the interlocking strengths of two of McKnight's longstanding program interests."

The initiative aims to drive revitalization through both the arts and economic development. To capitalize on this two-pronged approach, McKnight's 2011 investment is in addition to money already allocated for arts funding this year. Among ArtPlace's first round of 33 grantees are two based in Minnesota: Artspace, which was awarded a grant for its work to develop artist spaces in other parts of the country; and a new community engagement effort called Irrigate, which involves more than 100 art projects along the Central Corridor during development of the new light rail line. Irrigate is a collaboration of nonprofit Springboard for the Arts, St. Paul; Twin Cities Local Initiatives Support Corporation; and the City of St. Paul.

Also this quarter, The McKnight Foundation welcomed David Crosby to its board of directors. For 40 years, Crosby has worked at Piper Jaffray & Co. as an investment banker, as head of corporate finance, and as a director and member of the firm's management committee. He holds a B.A. from Yale and an M.B.A from Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, and he and his wife Katherine (Kitty) Crosby have three children and eight grandchildren. Previous board affiliations include Dunwoody College of Technology, Corporation for Supportive Housing, Lakewood Cemetery, The Minneapolis Foundation, The Blake School, Grinnell College, Children's Health Center, and The Minnesota Private College Council.  Crosby has also served on the investment committee for the Bush Foundation and on The University of Minnesota Investment Advisory Committee.

The McKnight Foundation seeks to improve the quality of life for present and future generations through grantmaking, coalition-building, and encouragement of strategic policy reform. Founded in 1953 and independently endowed by William and Maude McKnight, the Minnesota-based Foundation had assets of approximately $1.9 billion and granted about $96 million in 2010.

Contact information
Tim Hanrahan, Communications Director, 612-333-4220

Related link
Third-quarter 2011 representative grants, alphabetical order