Charlottesville, VA –  BeCville invites residents, artists, and designers to submit proposals for public art projects and programs that will invest $15,000 in the Ridge Street, Belmont, and Fifeville neighborhoods. Proposals will be accepted online, by mail, and in person at 401 East Water Street in Charlottesville until April 14.  More information is at

“The arts and creativity can play a vital role in supporting the ideas and vision that local residents have for their neighborhoods,” said Matthew Slaats, creative director for Pauselab and BeCville project director. “There is an immense amount of knowledge, skills, and experiences in these neighborhoods, and we want to use the arts to invest in those resources.”  

Supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and the City of Charlottesville, BeCville began in the Summer of 2016. For the first six months the project team listened to residents about what made their neighborhood so special and then gathered their ideas for how to make it even better. These discussions resulted in more than 250 responses and 400 ideas.   

“Our goal now is to create an opportunity for residents, artists, and designers to respond to these ideas by submitting proposals,” said Slaats. “Then in late May residents will have the opportunity to vote on the projects they think would most benefit their neighborhood.“ 

The BeCville project is being conducted in partnership with the Neighborhood Development Services office of the City of Charlottesville and through the fiscal sponsorship of the Piedmont Council for the Arts. 

“We commend Matthew Slaats for adapting this nationally successful model for the Charlottesville community,” said PCA board president Jon Parrish Peede. “Under his leadership, this project has the potential to inspire new forms of public-private community development partnerships. The City Council’s support and funding of the project has been vital, too.” 

BeCville is inspired by the international participatory budgeting process. Having started 30 years ago in Brazil, this process puts the power of making neighborhood investments in the hands of local residents.  At present, residents in New York City are deciding how to spend over $35 million, youth in Boston are making decision about $1 million, and the residents in Greensboro, North Carolina, are deciding how $500,000 is being spent in their neighborhoods. 

About BeCville –  BeCville is a project of PauseLab with a mission of empowering communities to create vibrant, livable cities through civic engagement, placemaking, and design thinking.   Pauselab is a fiscally sponsored program through the TJPDC Corporation.