The Light Box Community

The Light Box Community

This month, following the Creative Placemaking Summit in Miami, Art Place spoke with Miami Light Project Artistic & Executive Director, Beth Boone about the future of the Creative Placemaking   and lessons learned.

ARTPLACE: Beth, tell us a bit about your experience at the Creative Placemaking Summit and what your big take-aways were:

Boone: A key lesson I took away from the Creative Placemaking Summit was that Creative Placemaking does not look the at all the same from community to community, and that was a very liberating realization! I realized that all across the Art Place communities- each project manifests differently and distinctly, based specifically on the needs and realities specific to each community.

By meeting colleagues who live and work in wildly different communities and neighborhoods, my definition of Creative Placemaking was broadened exponentially; I came to have a specific understanding of how Creative Placemaking happens across the country and understand how ours can be fine tuned moving forward.

ARTPLACE: Can you tell us more about what you mean by that?

Boone: I came to understand Creative Placemaking as a very broad term, referring to both physical spaces that you live in, as well as ephemeral projects that you experience.  To truly allow the Creative Placemaking movement to manifest in your community, you have to get real and analyze the quirks and realities of your own community. What works for us in Miami won’t work in North Carolina or Philadelphia, and what works in Portland isn’t right for Miami or New York.

As an example I learned that PICA uses Creative Placemaking is a rubric that is rooted in their purposeful nomadic/itinerant presenter life- which is the exact opposite of ours! It was interesting to hear what led their decisions to focus their work in that way, especially now that WE know what it means to build and run a physical space.  Hearing about why this is the best practice for them was illuminating. At the same time, I have zero questions, that for us, moving away from the itinerant presenter model and into a space was absolutely the right choice for MLP, and again, that belief is rooted specifically in the realities of the community in which we live.

All of us who are part of the Creative Placemaking movement are doing very hard, very different but very important work to making arts accessible, and fully ingrained in our communities.


The Light Box Community

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