Corbin Project Receives a 2014 ArtPlace America Grant

July 29, 2014

Coalfield Development Corporation (Coalfield) announced today that it is among 55 grants given by ArtPlace America (ArtPlace) in 2014, to support creative placemaking across the country. The $350,000.00 grant will help renovate the Corbin Building in Huntington, WV, an abandoned former clothing factory. It will be transformed into a creative arts-based hub including:  workshop space, open to the public; workshop space for Coalfield’s Quality Jobs Initiative (QJI) crew to advance their furniture-making skills using reclaimed materials; affordable live/work space for Appalachian artists; and small business incubation space and coaching services to advance creative entrepreneurship.  

Coalfield’s Executive Director Brandon Dennison said, “We are delighted to share this exciting news with our community. While we know first-hand that deploying the arts can transform communities, having our work recognized by a generous grant from ArtPlace further supports and validates our efforts.” First steps include a charrette and architectural work.

“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.”

About Coalfield Development Corporation
The Coalfield Development Corporation’s mission is to be a community-based organization that provides quality and affordable homes, creates quality jobs, and generates opportunities for quality lives for low-income families in the coalfields of West Virginia. Improvement in these areas will be the gears generating real change in Appalachia.

In 2008, the Coalfield Development Corporation was founded as a Community Housing Development Corporation (CHDO) by local citizens concerned by the lack of quality affordable housing. The organization was slow getting started, struggling against long-entrenched barriers. However, Brandon Dennison, the founding executive director, saw the potential in this organization for creating an active, grassroots movement capable of achieving larger-scale change. While serving in Wayne County as a CommunityWorks in West Virginia Housing Intern, Dennison wrote the business plan for our innovative and entrepreneurial flagship program, the Quality Jobs Initiative (QJI).

Through QJI, CDC provides high school graduates in economically distressed communities with full-time jobs, training in high-demand sustainable construction and deconstruction trades, and mentorship for full, rounded lives. Operating as a social enterprise, CDC then uses resources generated through QJI, and support from partners to improve affordable housing and address other community needs.

About ArtPlace America
ArtPlace America (ArtPlace) advances the field of creative placemaking, in which art and culture plays an explicit and central role in shaping communities’ social, physical, and economic futures.  To date, ArtPlace has awarded $56.8 million through 189 grants to projects serving 122 communities across 42 states and the District of Columbia.

ArtPlace is a collaboration among the Barr Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Ford Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The William Penn Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Rasmuson Foundation, The Surdna Foundation, and two anonymous donors.

ArtPlace seeks advice and counsel from its close working relationships with the following federal agencies: the National Endowment for the Arts, the US Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Education, and Transportation, along with leadership from the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Domestic Policy Council.

ArtPlace has additional partnership from six major financial institutions: Bank of America, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Chase, MetLife and Morgan Stanley.

The deadline for submission for a 2015 grant application will be announced later this year. For more information or to join ArtPlace’s mailing list, visit

For additional information about ArtPlace contact: Bow Bridge Communications, LLC, New York City, Libby Mark, Managing Principal, 917- 968-5567,

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