ArtPlace America (ArtPlace) is a ten-year collaboration among a number of foundations, federal agencies, and financial institutions that works to position arts and culture as a core sector of comprehensive community planning and development in order to help strengthen the social, physical, and economic fabric of communities.
ArtPlace focuses its work on creative placemaking, which describes projects in which art plays an intentional and integrated role in place-based community planning and development. This brings artists, arts organizations, and artistic activity into the suite of placemaking strategies pioneered by Jane Jacobs and her colleagues, who believed that community development must be locally informed, human-centric, and holistic.
In practice, this means having arts and culture represented alongside sectors like housing and transportation – with each sector recognized as part of any healthy community; as requiring planning and investment from its community; and as having a responsibility to contribute to its community’s overall future.
In scanning the community planning and development field, we found five types of stakeholders working across ten sectors that, while not comprehensive, capture a majority of work taking place.
ArtPlace has four core areas of activity: a national grants program that annually supports creative placemaking projects in communities of all sizes across the country; our Community Development Investments in 6 place-based community planning and development organizations that are working to permanently and sustainably incorporate arts and culture into their core work; field building strategies that work to connect and grow the field of practitioners; and research strategies to understand, document, and disseminate successful creative placemaking practices.
At ArtPlace we believe that successful creative placemaking projects do four things:
- Define a community based in geography, such as a block, a neighborhood, a city, or a region.
- Articulate a change the group of people living and working in that community would like to see.
- Propose an arts-based intervention to help achieve that change.
- Develop a way to know whether the change occurred.
In everything we do and support, arts and culture work to help achieve a place-based change, which means that it is the community development interventions that are creative, not necessarily the outcomes. In creative placemaking, “creative” is an adverb describing the making, not an adjective describing the place. Successful creative placemaking projects are not measured by how many new arts centers, galleries, or cultural districts are built. Rather, their success is measured in the ways artists, formal and informal arts spaces, and creative interventions have contributed toward community outcomes.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"
Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
(used with permission)
"If you don't like the news .... go out and make some of your own !!"
Wes "Scoop" Nisker, Newscaster
Government is a slow and tedious process. While it often includes citizen and neighborhood involvement, non-governmental, private organizations have created movements and interesting groups which can create positive change in our cities and towns.
I am fascinated by the way groups are created and how they influence public decision making. This blog merely recognizes them and forwards the description of these groups from their own websites.