PLACE Initiative


The PLACE (People, Land, Arts, Culture, and Engagement) Initiative is a community-based arts initiative of the Tucson Pima Arts Council that has been designed to build a platform for civic engagement in the arts by supporting projects that re-imagine our cultural place and practice through collaboration with organizations, artists and residents of our region.

TPAC believes that arts and cultural activities are essential to meaningful place-making and the transformation of shared spaces into vibrant and nurturing communities. To this end, the PLACE Initiative focuses especially on activities that involve partnerships addressing systemic problems over an extended period of time.


PLACE Research & Analysis

In order to more fully understand the ability of the arts to engage and transform communities, the Kresge Foundation provided funding to TPAC to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the PLACE Initiative. The resulting groundbreaking report, People, Land, Arts, Culture, and Engagement: Taking Stock of the PLACE Initiative, is based on evaluation of four years of placemaking activities, including interviews, focus groups, data analysis and scholarly research.

The PLACE report is already receiving national attention as a model for arts agencies to address their own placemaking efforts. According to Michael Killoren, Director of the NEA’s Local Arts Agencies program, “The thoughtful exposition and framing of the role of intermediaries is itself a valuable contribution to the Local Arts Agencies field, and TPAC’s work in this arena has national significance.”

Pam Korza, Co-Director of the Americans for the Arts program Animating Democracy has this to say: “This report is a substantive guide to understanding what difference both a public arts agency and its grantees can make as social change agents.”

Read the full report (PDF)


PLACE Grantmaking

Established as a robust grant-making and regional arts development program, the impetus for the PLACE Initiative stems from planning outlined in the Pima Cultural Plan (2008). Grant making in the PLACE initiative is designed to leverage and enhance resources and talent to implement arts based civic engagement projects that deal with issues of cross-cultural understanding and/or civil society in Tucson, Arizona.

Funded work can takes the form of arts-based civic engagement projects, such as residencies, public programs or projects that contain cross-cultural sector partnerships focused on long-term societal issues. Community arts practices that incorporate ‘placemaking,’ public art, cultural celebrations and festivals will be considered for funding if the events include opportunities for community engagement and/or culturally based civic dialogue.

The intention of PLACE grantmaking is to provide our community with the opportunity, support and tools to build civility, understanding and tolerance through arts projects focused on engagement and collaboration.

Visit our Grants page for application and deadline details.


The PLACE initiative is supported by the following partners:



PLACE Resources





  • Visit our Grants page for application and deadline details.