The Creative Intersection of
Artist, Signmaker, and Neighborhood Business
The American Sign Museum is applying for a grant from ArtPlace (http://www.artplaceamerica.org/) to fund the CoSign initiative. CoSign will enhance economic activity in three artistic Greater Cincinnati neighborhood business districts by pairing artists, small businesses, and professional sign fabricators to design and install unique handcrafted signage for local retailers; and in the process, create an infrastructure to train the next generation of local signmakers.
Description of the Work
|Over-the-Rhine revitalization at work|
The year-long project will commence with a two-day public workshop. Day 1 will educate business owners and artists on the economic value of signage and permitting requirements. Day 2 will feature presentations by noted sign designers and demonstrations of fabrication and installation techniques. Following the workshop, a screening process will match small businesses with visual artists and sign professionals. The artists will meet with the business owners to collaborate on designs that meets the business' needs. The artists will then partner with sign companies to fabricate and install the signage. In some cases an existing historic sign may be restored. The cost of each sign will be split between the business owner and the ArtPlace grant funds. In addition to providing program oversight, the American Sign Museum staff, exhibits, and library will serve as a resource for sign history research and design inspiration. The Museum will also provide a venue for seminars, meetings, and fabrication workspace as its location is less than three miles from the three business districts.
The impact of this program will be fourfold: (1) Three business districts will strengthen their respective identities and increase their economic activity with the immediate visual impact resulting from new signage for local businesses; (2) As the appreciation for high-quality handcrafted signage increases, local artists will be trained to become the next generation of local signmakers; (3) The American Sign Museum will leverage its history and expertise to benefit its community directly and economically; and (4) After a pilot phase, this program will be replicated in other neighborhoods and other regions.
The CoSign proposal was selected as one of 127 finalists from among 2,200 applicants. A full application was submitted to ArtPlace on February 15, 2012. If the grant is awarded, the initial year-long project will take place between the fall of 2012 and fall of 2013.