24th and Lake makeover continues

24th and Lake makeover continues

By Juan Perez Jr. October 16, 2012 10:47 am Comments

Could $100,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts accelerate plans to reshape the 24th and Lake intersection? City officials hope so.

Mayor Jim Suttle will announce the grant award, which was extended by the government agency in September, during a press conference today at Love’s Jazz & Arts Center, and the City Council is scheduled to vote to formally accept the grant this afternoon hold a public hearing on the matter this afternoon.

The one-year grant, along with $105,000 in matching funds and services from city and community organizations, is expected to help transform the former Carver Savings and Loan building into an artist destination and fund concept studies for a proposed public space on the intersection’s northeast corner.

Roughly $75,000 from the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts will support programming and operations for the Carver project and pay for consultants to visit Omaha to assist with plans for the building’s future. An additional $50,000 in NEA money will support four resident artists at the center, community art programs and exhibits.

The City of Omaha would provide a yearlong lease for the facility, and documents say the Bemis would help support the facility for three years before helping turn it into an independent nonprofit.

The rest of the NEA grant will largely fund feasibility and design work for a proposed “festival square” at the intersection. Set to be carried out in two phases, the design work would explore how to place a square at that location, architectural plans and ways to finance construction.