NEA Awards Hartford $250,000 Grant for iQuilt plan by Suisman Urban Design

Project is Named Nation’s Top Recipient for Culture-Based Urban Design Grants.

HARTFORD–July 16, 2010–The National Endowment for the Arts announced today that the city of Hartford and the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts have won a national grant worth $250,000 for the iQuilt, a culture-based downtown design plan developed by Suisman Urban Design. Of the 21 cities receiving awards, only four cities received the top award of $250,000. Hartford’s proposal was ranked #1 by the NEA.

The iQuilt, initiated by the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, is a plan to connect some 45 of Hartford’s cultural assets and public spaces with pedestrian and bicycling routes running from the Capitol and Bushnell Park to the river, and then enhance the area with improvements. A major feature merges new and existing public spaces – parks, plazas, walkways – into the GreenWalk, a landscape spine linking Bushnell Park to the riverfront.

The NEA awarded the funding as a part of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design 25th Anniversary Initiative, a program that supports projects in communities across the nation focused on planning, design, and arts engagement programs. In total, the 21 matching grants awarded to cities and community groups across the country amounted to an investment of $3 million on behalf of the NEA. More than 600 cities were eligible to apply, and more than 200 applications were submitted.