ArtPrize received a $100,000 grant today from the National Endowment for the Arts.  A total of $6.575 million in grants was given to 51 communities in 34 states.

This is the first year the "Our Town" grants have been issued.  NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman discussed the grants:

Communities across our country are investing in the arts and smart design to enhance Americans' quality of life and to promote the distinctive identities of our communities. Our Town creates partnerships among local governments and arts and design organizations to strengthen the creative sector and help revitalize the overall community.

The NEA only took the time to discuss five specific grants on it's press release.  It's worth noting that one of the five they discussed was ArtPrize.  The NEA explained ArtPrize:

ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, Michigan, will receive $100,000 to support its annual art competition, which invites artists from around the world to exhibit their work in museums, businesses, restaurants, stores, parks, and other existing spaces within a three-square-mile area of Grand Rapids during a free, two-week festival.

If any event is deserving of an "Our Town" grant it's ArtPrize, but many question whether government money should be used to issue grants for the arts at all.  What do you think?

Is government overstepping its boundaries by using our money to fund artists and art events?  Or is it money well spent to stimulate both our minds and economy?