National and Local Grants Assure the Next Round of CoSign

26 May
CoSign unveiling in Northside on Black Friday

On May 20th, ArtPlace America announced awarding a $200,000 grant to the American Sign Museum for our CoSign project.  CoSign was among 54 projects chosen from more than 1,200 applications as an ‘exceptional example of creative placemaking.’

CoSign is the brainchild of our own Tod Swormstedt, museum founder, and Eric Avner, Senior Program Manager for Community Development of the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr. / U.S. Bank Foundation, known more simply as the Haile Foundation.  Last year, with funding from the Haile Foundation, they piloted their vision of bringing together artists, fabricators, and small businesses from the Northside community of Cincinnati.  Their goal was to educate participants on the value and components of good signage and to actually create new signage for several businesses within the community.  The project was a great success, with eleven new signs unveiled on Black Friday.  Read about the CoSign pilot project here.

Eric Avner helps unveil CoSign signs in Northside, Black Friday, 2012

Eric Avner helps unveil CoSign signs in Northside, Black Friday, 2012

In the months following last year’s project, Avner has presented the CoSign project to audiences across the country.  Part of this next round will include developing a toolkit for others to use in implementing similar projects in their own communities.

The ArtPlace funding, along with an additional $150,000 from the Haile foundation will give us the opportunity to expand on last year’s CoSign pilot project.  We have already begun bringing together the CoSign team and plan to follow a schedule similar to last year’s pilot for the next round of signs in Northside.  The goal will again be to unveil the new signs on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.  Plans are also in the works for working with another neighborhood – most likely Covington, KY, just across the river.

“This is really exciting news”, said Avner, “it gives our work a national profile, and it will enable the Sign Museum to roll out CoSign two more times (at least) and to create a toolkit to help other communities (locally or nationally) to replicate it.”

Be sure to watch for updates on our website in the months to come.

About AArtPlace_MAPrtPlace America

ArtPlace America is a collaboration of leading national and regional foundations, banks and federal agencies committed to accelerating creative placemaking – putting art at the heart of a portfolio of strategies designed to revitalize communities.  This is ArtPlace America’s third cycle of grant awards.  With this round of grants, in total, ArtPlace America has awarded 134 grants to 130 projects for a total of $42.1 million.

“ArtPlace America recognizes the central role arts and cultural activities can have in the revitalization of American cities.” Said Rip Rapson, chair of ArtPlace America’s Presidents’ Council.  “With this grant award ArtPlace America is directing individual project support to scores of creative, high-impact projects throughout the country.”  The complete list of 2013/2014 ArtPlace America awards can be found at

AbouCarol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr.t the Haile Foundation

The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation embraces the passion and commitment that the Hailes had for communities on both banks of the Ohio River and their desire to advance the quality of life for our region.  The private family foundation is helping to change Cincinnati communities for the better through collaboration and innovation.  Read more at

1 Response to "National and Local Grants Assure the Next Round of CoSign"

  1. Karmen says:

    Last year, some very motivated conmumity leaders, business owners, artists, fabricators, and financial backers came together to enhance a Cincinnati neighborhood’s business district with new signage. In the process, museum staff most notably founder Tod Swormstedt played a major role in educating these folks on the value of good signage, design, and the process of permitting, fabricating, installing, and celebrating signs. The project,a0 called CoSign, culminated with an unveiling and celebration of eleven new signs in the neighborhood of Northside, Cincinnati on Black Friday. See the signs and read about it here.

  2. […] American Sign Museum located in Northside Cincinnati was awarded a $200,000 grant for a CoSign Project in collaboration with the Carol Ann and Ralph V Haile Jr./U.S. Bank […]

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