In a unique collaboration, the cities of West Sacramento and Sacramento, in partnership with the Crocker Art Museum, will receive $125,000 to develop a master plan for public art and cultural gathering that will connect the two cities along a portion of the Sacramento River. The funding comes from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) where Chairperson Jane Chu announced 69 grant awards totaling almost $5 million through the Our Town program.
“The partnership between the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, the City of West Sacramento, and the Crocker Art Museum demonstrates the best in creative community development and their work will have a valuable impact on the community,” said Chairperson Chu. “Through Our Town funding, arts organizations continue to spark vitality that support neighborhoods and public spaces, enhancing a sense of place for residents and visitors alike.”
Titled “River Crossing,” the two cities will develop a comprehensive plan for public art and arts experiences that will connect downtown Sacramento and the Washington District of West Sacramento by creating pedestrian-friendly pathways linking art, entertainment, employment and recreation with new residential development along the Sacramento riverfront.
“West Sacramento’s waterfront districts are designed around striking a meaningful connection to the beauty of the river and outdoors,” said West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon. “This is an excellent opportunity to contribute to the excitement, energy and identity of the City’s riverfront. We’re elated to receive this Our Town grant that will not only create a visual impact and a sense of place, but add to the cultural heritage on both sides of the river.”
“I am thrilled with the collaboration that has developed between Sacramento and West Sacramento in partnership with the Crocker Art Museum to produce a master plan and artworks that unite our river cities,” said Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson. “Thank you to the National Endowment for the Arts for recognizing this unique and timely project that will help strengthen the connection between our cities through art.”
The City of Sacramento, through its Metropolitan Arts Commission (SMAC) – a City and County joint agency—will partner with the City of West Sacramento and the Crocker Art Museum (critically situated within the District) to create a master plan to promote connectivity in an area that is rapidly growing in population yet has traditionally been isolated and underutilized because of rail and freeway barriers, vacant properties and lack of activating ground floor uses. The culmination of the plan will be the installation of two works of public art, strategically-situated on both sides of the river, highlighting the shared vision of the project. Local residents, business owners, and downtown workers will take part in this planning to help inform the vision for the neighborhood and propose optimal sites for public art.
“‘River Crossing’ is the right idea at the right time, as it will bring together the cities of Sacramento and West Sacramento to fill the demand for public art. We must to continue to elevate the arts in our community and I am confident that this grant will help make that happen,” said Congresswoman Doris Matsui. “I am pleased that the funding from the National Endowment for the Arts will jump start their planning efforts, as this grant will result in an even more beautiful riverfront that defines our region’s core.”
The NEA received 275 applications for Our Town this year and will make grants ranging from $25,000 to $200,000. The Our Town grant program supports creative projects that help to transform communities into lively, beautiful, and resilient places with the arts at their core. Since the program’s inception in 2011 and including these projects, the NEA will have awarded 325 Our Town grants totaling almost $26 million in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia.
For a complete listing of projects recommended for Our Town grant support, please visit the NEA web site at arts.gov.