AcA a finalist for ArtPlace grant


The Acadiana Center for the Arts is one of 90 finalists nationwide in the running to receive significant grant funding from ArtPlace America, a collaboration among a dozen top philanthropic foundations designed to encourage creative place-making in American communities. The AcA is seeking about $169,000 of a $337,000 project to create a network of artist- and architect-designed bus stops across Lafayette Parish.

AcA Executive Director Gerd Wuestemann says the arts center has “a 50/50 chance” of securing the grant.

“At a time when Lafayette is looking toward implementation of key elements of its new comprehensive plan, we looked toward this grant as a potential vehicle to fulfill three major components,” Wuestemann says, citing not only the bus stops themselves, but the opportunity to promote public transit and to “literally and tangibly bridge the divide between north and south Lafayette, between more and less affluent neighborhoods, between people relying on the bus as their main mode of transportation to go to their jobs or their classes, and those who might have a choice.”

Lafayette artist CeCe Cole came up with the idea, which would be a collaboration between civic, social and arts organizations along with the university. Two other Louisiana projects, both in New Orleans, are also among the finalists whittled down from 1,300 applicants.

Adds Wuestemann: “This grant would come at the perfect time for Lafayette, when we are beginning to address these issues as a community.”