CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (NEWSPLEX) -- On Thursday, the City of Charlottesville teamed up with the Piedmont Council for the Arts for the Energize! Charlottesville Arts Pitch Night.
Six local artists competed by presenting their ideas about how to use art to engage the community in the Energize! Charlottesville initiative.
The city is one of 50 semifinalists in the running for the $5 million Georgetown University Energy Prize.
The competition involves cutting down on electricity and natural gas usage in residential buildings citywide by the end of 2016.
City officials say the only way to win is with the help and awareness of city residents.
"There was a recognition that the arts have a different way of speaking to people than typical outreach campaigns and we really wanted to capture that and use that creativity and find different ways to speak about things that are really part of our every day life," said Susan Elliott, Climate Protection Program Coordinator for the City of Charlottesville.
Matt Slaats walked away with the pitch night's $5,000 prize for his idea involving posting usage data on electricity poles throughout the city.
The money will go toward implementing the project within the next four months.