Ford Foundation Sees Art As Community Development Plan

Photo of Luis A. Ubiñas, by Michael Falco for The New York Times

Over the next ten years, The Ford Foundation plans to distribute an unprecedented $100 million to the nationwide development of arts spaces and artist housing.

The Supporting Diverse Art Spaces Initiative will help arts supporters build and renovate spaces, but it will also place a new focus on the economic benefits that follow from developing affordable housing for artists nearby these spaces.

According to Ford Foundation president,, successful economic turnarounds follow the arts, especially when communities support their artists.

Ubiñas gave Stephanie Strom, New York Times reporter, the example of the Boston Center for the Arts which offered studios to artists in the 1970‘s when the South End neighborhood was in ruins. “Then the Boston Ballet was added, and performance space for other kinds of arts organizations, and what was a struggling neighborhood characterized by housing projects is a bustling community.”

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