DDD, Arts Council New Orleans Recipients Of Grant For Duncan Plaza

NEW ORLEANS – Wednesday, Southwest Airlines and Project for Public Spaces (PPS) announced the three U.S. cities that have been awarded this year's Southwest Airlines Heart of the Community grants. Now entering its fourth year, this grant program has helped local organizations and partners in 20 cities to re-imagine and reactivate important but under-performing public spaces in their communities.

         About the New Orleans grant, PPS reps said, “In New Orleans, Duncan Plaza is a point of convergence that connects several distinct and diverse downtown neighborhoods. Until now, though, the potential of this public space to become a treasured community place has yet to be fully realized. With support from Southwest Airlines Heart of the Community grant, the Downtown Development District and Arts Council of New Orleans hope to capture the city's unique character and charm within this park, making it a valuable local asset and a springboard for social life and cultural expression. By engaging with all the existing users of this plaza, this project aims to transform Duncan Plaza from a forgotten space between neighborhoods into a quality place that connects people from all walks of life, helping to build community and generate long-term resilience."

         Since the creation of the Heart of the Community program in 2014, Southwest Airlines has been committed to supporting placemaking projects throughout the country as a way to help bring people together and strengthen communities for a more resilient future, reps said. One of the ways the airline is accomplishing this is by partnering with PPS to support the creation, activation, and sustainability of vibrant community gathering spaces.

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         To date, the airline has invested more than $6.4M in this effort.

         The 2017 Heart of the Community grant recipients, selected from a competitive pool of more than 75 applicants representing 43 cities nationwide, also included Reading Park in Buffalo, New York and Kerr Park in Oklahoma.

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