statement pc-072317-fe-conNECKted.jpg (copy)

The project conNECKted, produced by the Charleston Rhizome Collective, addressed gentrification and its impacts. File/Adam Parker/Staff

ArtPlace America, a national organization focused on artistic community development, has awarded a Charleston arts group $300,000 to create an economic development program for very small, local businesses.

The Charleston Rhizome Collective is one of 23 organizations nationwide that received funding from the program this year.

Its project, called conNECKtedTOO, will aim to support so-called tiny businesses with public art installations and forums, a tour, an app-based interactive map and a youth entrepreneurship program, according to a release from the city of Charleston.

The group presented an interactive art installation by the same name at the City Gallery earlier this year. The collection addressed racism, gentrification, and cultural and economic disparities in Charleston, particularly downtown in rapidly developing areas.

“Their past projects and recent efforts build confidence that the arts can be effectively put to work in new and creative ways to sustain and strengthen our local communities,” Mayor John Tecklenburg said in a statement announcing the grant.

Reach Abigail Darlington at 843-937-5906 and follow her on Twitter @A_Big_Gail.

Abigail Darlington is a local government reporter focusing primarily on the City of Charleston. She previously covered local arts & entertainment, technology, innovation, tourism and retail for the Post and Courier.