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Linear parks benefit from environmental public art program

Grants totalling $100,000 awarded for Projects in North Carolina and Massachusetts

By Aria McElhenny

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New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) announces this year's Art & Community Landscapes program grantees. Artists Maura Bordes Cronin of New Bedford, MA and Mark Dannenhauer of Shutesbury, MA each have received $50,000 from the program to create site-specific public art projects in 2004-2005.

Now in its second cycle of funding, Art & Community Landscapes is made possible through a partnership between NEFA, the National Park Service (NPS) and the National Endowment for the Arts. NEFA is the chief administrator of Art & Community Landscapes and was recognized in July 2004 for its leadership in public art when Program Manager Liesel Fenner received a national "Conservation Hero" award from the National Park Service.


Art & Community Landscapes is an artist residency program that addresses local and regional conservation concerns through site-specific public art projects. Project sites are identified through the NPS Rivers and Trails Conservation Assistance Program. Selected artists work closely with NPS staff, community partners, and local citizens to implement projects that inspire community involvement in protecting and enhancing rivers, trails, and greenways.


The Art & Community Landscapes program issues a national open call to artists for applications, and grantees are selected through a highly competitive, two-round jury process. This year's Art & Community Landscapes grantees and project sites are:

North Carolina

Artist: Maura Bordes Cronin, New Bedford, MA
Project Site: Greenway/Blueway Plan - Perquiman's County, North Carolina.

Perquimans County has over 100 miles of shoreline -- most of which is undeveloped -- along three major rivers and the Albemarle Sound. The County is developing a master plan to guide development of resources for bicyclists, pedestrians, kayakers and canoeists while preserving valuable natural resources.

Details: Maura Bordes Cronin is a public artist who explores the potential of landscapes in transition. In tandem with the County's efforts, Cronin has proposed sculpture, installation and festival projects for the area addressing the importance of ancestry, heritage, and natural conservation.


Artist: Mark Dannenhauer, Shutesbury, MA - "Re-storying Chelsea Creek"
Site: Chelsea Riverway - East Boston, Chelsea, and Revere, Massachusetts.

The Chelsea Riverway will transform an environmentally distressed area into a resource where local community members will enjoy access to riverfront open space. The proposed trail will link with larger regional trail efforts in the Mystic River watershed.

Details: The Chelsea Creek Restoration Partnership (CCRP) strives to reclaim the neglected, contaminated Chelsea Creek as an environmental, recreational, economic, and educational asset for East Boston, Chelsea, Revere and the region. Artist Mark Dannenhauer's Re-storying Chelsea Creek project seeks to support CCRP by providing opportunities for community members to create photographs, sound recordings, and puppets that document Chelsea Creek's history, ecology, people and places. Re-storying Chelsea Creek has three parts: 100 Views, 100 Sounds, and 100 Puppets.

The project's first stage will be exhibited in January 2005: "Re-storying Chelsea Creek: 100 Views, Part One." Opening Reception, January 6, 2005, 6-9 PM, Atlantic Works Gallery: 80 Border Street, 4th Fl. East Boston -

NEFA creatively supports the movement of people, ideas, and resources in the arts within New England and beyond, makes vital connections between artists and audiences, and builds the strength, knowledge, and leadership of the region's creative sector. NEFA is a nonprofit organization that operates with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New England state arts agencies, and from corporations, foundations, and individuals. For more information please visit For more information about the Art & Community Landscapes program see

The NPS Rivers and Trails Conservation Assistance Program works with local communities and citizens groups to preserve open space, conserve rivers, and develop trail and greenway networks. More information is available online at

For more information contact Aria McElhenny, 617-951-0010

December 28, 2004


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