monopoly_money.jpgA $250,000 National Endowment for the Arts grant is headed to San Francisco to support revitalization efforts for the city’s downtrodden Mid Market area, the mayor’s office announced today.

The heavily trafficked neighborhood, historically a theater and arts district, is now dotted with boarded up storefronts and has become a haven for crime, drug use and homelessness.

Mayor Gavin Newsom’s office said today the grant to the city’s Arts Commission will “help support the larger vision for the Mid Market neighborhood by utilizing art to implement an economic development strategy” for the area.

Specifically, the money will fund: a lighting design competition for installations at United Nations Plaza and the intersection of Market and Sixth streets; an arts market at United Nations Plaza; visual and media arts installations in vacant storefronts and open spaces; and festivals, exhibitions and performances.

“This initiative will change the Mid Market experience through an array of dynamic cultural and commercial amenities that will engage the public and contribute to the area’s cultural vitality,” Newsom said in a prepared statement.

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