Press Release

BCNC and BHCC Receive funding from ArtPlace America’s 2016 National Creative Placemaking Fund

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

ArtPlace America announced that the One Chinatown project, a collaboration between Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (BCNC) and Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC), will receive funding through its National Creative Placemaking Fund in 2016. Twenty-nine projects were chosen, from almost 1400 applications, to receive $11 million in funding.

ArtPlace America’s National Creative Placemaking Fund is a highly competitive national program – funding 2% of initial applications – that invests money in communities across the country in which artists, arts organizations, and arts and culture activity will help drive community development change in the sectors of agriculture and food; economic development; education and youth; environment and energy; health, housing; immigration; public safety; transportation; or workforce development.

“Creative Placemaking seeks the full and robust integration of arts, culture, and community-engaged design into the decisions that define the ebb and flow of community life. These grant recipients embody what this looks like at its most effective best,” said Rip Rapson, president and CEO of The Kresge Foundation and Chair of the ArtPlace President’s Council. “The sheer volume of applications for these grants suggests the growing updraft of creative placemaking efforts throughout the nation.”

“We are absolutely thrilled to be adding this dynamic set of projects to our portfolio this year,” says F. Javier Torres, Director of National Grantmaking. “The thoughtful and innovative strategies in this year’s projects are truly indicative of the vital role that artists and arts and culture organizations play in strengthening local policy, and the social, physical, and economic fabric of communities.”

The complete list of the 2016 projects for ArtPlace’s National Creative Placemaking Fund may be found here.

BCNC will receive a total grant of $450,000 over the next three years for “One Chinatown” – a community-based center for arts developed in partnership with Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) –  the state’s largest and most affordable community college – slated to open in January 2017.

“I am humbled to be a part of this project, because I believe it is important for this moment in history,” said Giles Li, Executive Director of BCNC. “One Chinatown represents coming together during hard times. Two disparate communities who both live in Chinatown belong here. Two different types of institutions can show the world a new kind of relationship is possible between a neighborhood and a college. We are building a space for all people – poor and rich, young and old, immigrant and native-Bostonian – that supports a vision for a united Chinatown, city, and world.

“BHCC is proud to partner with BCNC in the creation of One Chinatown,” said BHCC President Pam Eddinger. “This initiative perfectly aligns with our goal of providing culturally-inclusive education to all students.”

One Chinatown leverages the assets of both BCNC and BHCC, as well as other community partners, to build connections between the low-income immigrant community typical of Chinatown and the growing population of urbanites, who have moved to the neighborhood in recent years. One Chinatown will engage residents of Chinatown in a public conversation about challenges and pathways to good community health and emotional well-being in an age of rapid gentrification.

Located on Parcel 24, a piece of land that was returned to the Chinatown community 50 years after it was suddenly taken away, the 5,000 square-foot One Chinatown will feature a studio theater, gallery, classrooms, and community space.

Bunker Hill Community College is the largest community college in Massachusetts. The College enrolls more than 14,000 students on two campuses and at three satellite locations. BHCC is one of the most diverse institutions of higher education in Massachusetts. Sixty-four percent of the students are people of color and more than half of BHCC's students are women. The College also enrolls nearly 1000 international students who come from 107 countries and speak more than 75 languages.

ArtPlace America (ArtPlace) is a ten-year collaboration among 16 partner foundations, along with 8 federal agencies and 6 financial institutions, that works to position arts and culture as a core sector of comprehensive community planning and development in order to help strengthen the social, physical, and economic fabric of communities. ArtPlace focuses its work on creative placemaking, projects in which art plays an intentional and integrated role in place-based community planning and development. This brings artists, arts organizations, and artistic activity into the suite of placemaking strategies pioneered by Jane Jacobs and her colleagues, who believed that community development must be locally informed, human-centric, and holistic.

Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (BCNC) is the largest nonprofit social service provider dedicated to Asian families in the Greater Boston area, supporting over 2,000 children, youth, and adults each year at three locations in Boston and Quincy. The mission of BCNC is to ensure that the children, youth, and families we serve have the resources and supports they need to achieve greater economic success and social well-being. BCNC helps families access the resources and services available to them, provide opportunities for them to learn and acquire skills, and create a community of mutual support and encouragement.

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About Bunker Hill Community College
With more than 50 years of academic excellence, Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) is Massachusetts' largest community college, annually welcoming a diverse community of around 16,000 students. With campuses in Charlestown and Chelsea, BHCC extends its reach across several locations in Greater Boston. The College offers associate degrees and certificates, early college and dual enrollment, community education, corporate training, and industry-specific training programs. BHCC is celebrated for its diversity, boasting a student body where 65% identify as people of color and more than half are women. The College also embraces a global perspective, with over 600 international students representing 90 countries and conversing in more than 65 languages. Our commitment to diversity is further reflected in BHCC's designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and an Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI).