Frankford: Art Grant hopes to bring in new residents

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Womrath Park, where the sculpture will be displayed.

Artistic innovation will soon find a permanent home and potentially make a positive impact within the Frankford community next year.

Thanks to a $550,000 grant funded by Artplace America intended for “creative placemaking,” the project known as Destination Frankford is now in the works. The project will feature a sculpture in the center of Womrath Park

“By initiating art projects,” said Leslie Kaufman, art director for Destination Frankford, “we hope to encourage artists to move to Frankford and encourage businesses to locate there as well.”

The setting for the art project will be Womrath Park because of its central  location and its potential to become a common gathering place in Frankford, organizers said.

Artplace America, a community of foundations, banks and agencies, has so far assisted 79 US communities in artistic transformation through creative placemaking grants totaling $42.1 million. Destination Frankford was one of 32 winners this year, chosen from a pool of more than 1,200 applicants.

Womrath Park, the central geographic location of Frankford.

Directors of Destination Frankford will be teaming up with the Frankford Community Development Corporation, Globe Dye Works, Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership and individuals from the council district to help reach the project’s full potential.

The Destination Frankford grant was originated and written by Ian Litwin, the project director and an employee of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission.

“In addition to the sculpture,” said Kaufman,

“we will have signage in the form of sculptural markers that will be positioned in key locations in Frankford, pointing towards important community destinations, institutions, or features.”

They will also have temporary pop-up stores that will exhibit the works of local artists, including those working in studios at Globe Dye Works.

Marsha Moss, who has served as a public art consultant for The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, will be the art director for Destination Frankford.

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