Creative Life in the Gateway Arts District

Check in with Art Lives Here’s Open Review Process

On January 6th, we received nearly 50 proposals from over 30 artists, individuals and organizations in response to Art Lives Here’s call for Creative Placemaking Projects.  Partners from organizations throughout the Gateway Arts District are excited and enthusiastic about the great ideas that have come through this process.   

Stack of proposals!

Stack of proposals!

A local dance organization wants to activate the Mount Rainier Circle through a celebratory procession; a local artist with a studio in Brentwood wants to activate his studio windows with video projection enlivening US Route 1; a community member is looking to create a Gateway specific “car-horn symphony”; a piano tuner and restoration expert wants to turn pianos into functional art pieces to be distributed throughout the arts district.  The ideas are varied and suggest a thoughtful approach to transforming some of the most under-used properties in our community.

A pre-proposal workshop was held at Art Works Studio School in December to detail creative placemaking concepts, answer questions and offer large visions beyond individual projects.  A team of arts leaders fielded inquiries of specific proposals to help folks design projects for greater impact.

Placemaking Proposal Workshop

Placemaking Proposal Workshop

More than ever Art Lives Here partners are impressed and inspired by the wide ranging concepts that have come from the community. Individuals who live, work and play in the Gateway Arts District have participated and communicated their enthusiasm, excitement and love of this district. Partners feel increasingly privileged to serve such a diverse and creative community.

On January 15th  (tonight!) an Open Review Session of the proposals will be hosted by Brentwood Arts Exchange.  Reviewers include:

Art Lives Here is opening its review process to the artists to facilitate capacity building for participants.  The panel will discuss each proposal and view supporting materials, such as video, music and photos submitted by applicants.  The projects will be scored on artistic merit in creative placemaking, impact on the Gateway Arts District, community engagement, implementation capacity, and audience development potential.  It is hoped that more than 12 projects will be funded.

Flipping through the proposals

Flipping through the proposals

Gateway Arts District members dream big. Upon expanding the budget range up to $6,000, many proposals requested the full amount.  Some of the projects are creative placemaking, but others are requests to support new work or educational programming.  Some of the proposals that fall into the latter category will be connected to established arts organizations and/or alternative funding sources.


About neenajoe

Joe’s Movement Emporium is a cultural arts hub that acts as a catalyst for creativity and economic opportunity for all through productions and programs in education, artist services and work readiness. Located in the town center of Mount Rainier, Maryland within the Prince George’s County Gateway Arts District, the organization supports and promotes creative projects of local artists and community groups. For additional information on programs and events, please visit

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