- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 23, 2015

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A trio of Upstate New York cities is among the recipients of $1 million arts grants from billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s charitable organization.

Bloomberg Philanthropies announced Tuesday that Los Angeles; Spartanburg, South Carolina; Gary, Indiana, and a combination of Albany, Schenectady and Troy have been selected to receive the funds to help them support public arts projects designed to celebrate creativity and boost economic development.

The recipients were among more than 230 U.S. cities that submitted applications for the organization’s inaugural Public Art Challenge.

The proposals ranged from plans to revitalize decaying downtowns to promoting city identity.

The three upstate cities plan to illuminate up to 300 vacant homes to draw interest in once-thriving neighborhoods that have high vacancy rates.

Bloomberg Philanthropies ecompasses all of the former New York City mayor’s charitable activities.

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