Three Degrees Warmer and Re-Locate Kivalina Partner on ArtPlace America Grant


$500,000 Grant Will Fund Village-Based Territorial Planning Process in KIVALINA, ALASKA

Anchorage, Alaska – Re-Locate announced today that it is among 38 recipients of ArtPlace America’s 2015 National Grants Program. ArtPlace, one of the nation’s largest philanthropies dedicated to creative placemaking, is investing $500,000 in Kivalina, Alaska, to further integrate arts and culture into the field of community planning and development. Re-Locate will work to co-create a village-based territorial planning process with individuals, families, and institutions in Kivalina that makes visible and brings action to their strategies and plans for relocation and for a world where particular subjectivities and cultural practices can endure and flourish. ArtPlace selected Re-Locate from a pool of nearly 1,300 applicants. Three Degrees Warmer, a nonprofit climate justice organization, will serve as Re-Locate’s fiscal sponsor.

“While the strategies and projects these resources will activate and materialize are only part of the latest developments in Kivalina’s multi-generational struggle to relocate—a persistent need the community continues to live with and skillfully act on every day—they do mark a turn toward Kivalina-based decision making, voluntary partnership, local history, and political exchange. Artplace funding and support for this turn, one that we’ve imagined with Kivalina while living and making together over the past 4 years, is fitting and timely. We are tremendously grateful.”

With ArtPlace support, Re-Locate will co-create of a series of projects with Kivalina and a collective of artist, state, corporate, non-governmental, and international partners that recognize and support community-led strategies for village expansion. These projects—including a living archive, large-scale models and drawings of Kivalina’s traditional territory, in-village summits, people’s maps, interactive online platforms, prototypes of decentralized water and sanitation technology designs, immersed artist residencies, and an intranet mesh network—will compose a village-based master planning process housed in the Kivalina Community Center, which we are adapting to become the Center for Kivalina Relocation Planning and Global Responsibility for Climate Displacement.

This is a process that “belongs to the people of Kivalina,” Kivalina IRA President Millie Hawley said. “We’ll visualize where we’re at, where we can be, and how we can move in that direction. There are 229 Tribes in Alaska. Five villages have the same climate change issues, some worse than ours. If you do this project in Kivalina, you do this work for them. They would all benefit from this in their villages,” she said.

“[These projects] empower the people to make the decisions,” City Councilwoman Colleen Swan said. “The people know what to do. Otherwise, plans are developed by people who don’t live here. It’s the only way I believe we will get anywhere.”

“Re-Locate can elevate recognition, attract visibility, and visualize our learning,” said Enoch Adams Jr., Kivalina Relocation Planning Committee Chairman.

“Investing in and supporting the arts have a profound impact on the social, physical, and economic futures of communities,” said ArtPlace Executive Director Jamie L. Bennett. “Projects like these demonstrate how imaginative and committed people are when it comes to enhancing their communities with creative interventions and thoughtful practices.”

“The National Grants Program is actively building a portfolio that touches each of the sectors and stakeholders that make up the community development field,” said ArtPlace’s Director of National Grantmaking F. Javier Torres.  “Last year, ArtPlace developed a Community Development Matrix to help us better evaluate our success on this front.  So, we’re thrilled that this year’s 38 grantees represent a dynamic spectrum of creative approaches and partnerships in community development that expand the dimensions of our portfolio.”

This year’s ArtPlace America grantees were selected from nearly 1,300 applicants across 48 states and the District of Columbia. Grants range from $50,000 to $500,000 with an average of $265,000.

“Each one of these grants supports a geographic community: a collection of people who live, work, and play within a defined circle on a map,” continued Torres.  “In each case, a community development challenge or opportunity was identified by local stakeholders; and these 38 grantees are serving as conduits for their community’s desires by leading arts-based solutions through their projects.”

To view the complete list of 2015 ArtPlace grantees, go to


About Re-Locate

Re-Locate is a collective of immersive ethnographic artists and transdisciplinary partners co-creating a community-led village expansion planning process in Kivalina. Re-Locate projects are making the economic, political, and environmental issues underlying relocation visible to global audiences; supporting community discussion and exchange; locating, connecting, and educating new relocation partners; creating spaces where people from displaced communities can share original media and ideas about local ways of life; developing platforms for managing local to global networks of support; hosting collaborative design processes that synthesize project knowledge into culturally specific planning and architecture; contributing to global efforts that are shaping the discourse on climate displacement; and developing practices for working in partnership with climate-displaced communities worldwide. Read more at

About ArtPlace America

ArtPlace America (ArtPlace) is a ten-year collaboration of foundations, banks, and federal agencies that exists to position art 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. Visit for more information.

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