Renewal of a historic neighborhood by fostering ownership and investment by artists

The Lower Town Artist Relocation Program rehabilitates historic buildings and encourages artists nationwide to relocate to the Paducah, Kentucky, neighborhood. The program is part of an effort to increase home ownership and property values, and the city offers incentives for the artists to live and work in the city. Historic homes are offered at affordable rates, and artists have access to funding from a local bank for additional restoration as well as rehabilitated retail space for art galleries and storefront real estate. The infill of vacant lots creates additional housing opportunities and helps combat urban sprawl, and the project prioritizes hiring local residents for rehabilitation and construction projects.

The Lower Town Artist Relocation Program offers a new model of repopulating the downtown and bringing new stakeholders into the city.

2005 Selection Committee

The program contributes significantly to the revitalization of a blighted historic neighborhood, strengthens the creative economy of Paducah, and creates a renewed residential community in the downtown. It offers an innovative approach to community revitalization and has become a national model for using the arts for economic development.