ARTPLACE AMERICA (ARTPLACE) is a collaboration among a number of foundations, federal agencies, and financial institutions that was started in 2011 to support and strengthen a field of creative placemaking. At the end of 2020, we will complete our strategic plan that has worked to enlist artists as allies in planning and developing equitable, healthy, and sustainable communities. A number of the foundations that have been part of the ArtPlace collaboration have currently undertaken a planning process to explore how they might be able to build on and extend this work.
We envision a future of equitable, healthy, and sustainable communities in which everyone has a voice and agency in creating contextual, adaptive, and responsive solutions. To this end, we’ve invested $104 million to grow the field of creative placemaking through demonstration projects, in-depth investments in organizational change, and research.
We believe that traditional community planning and development has not always led to communities being as equitable, healthy and sustainable as they could be. We believe that the arts and culture sector has necessary tools, knowledge, and skills that can be deployed in partnership with the community planning and development sectors to improve community outcomes. We refer to this intersection as creative placemaking.
We’re focused on creating a strong creative placemaking field of practitioners by encouraging the adoption of creative placemaking practices. To ensure the field remains robust, we are busy embedding knowledge and resources within existing networks of practice and strengthening and empowering local ecosystems to own and evolve the practice.
Across many sectors, artists are working side by side with planners, developers, and public officials to think differently and imagine solutions that meet a broad range of community needs and spark and sustain public interest. We embed our values by working with comprehensive and sector-based community development practitioners, artists and cultural organizations, higher education institutions, the creative placemaking field, and our philanthropic partners.
What is Creative Placemaking?
Creative Placemaking is the intentional integration of arts, culture, and community-engaged design strategies into the process of equitable community planning and development. It’s about artists, culture-bearers, and designers acting as allies to creatively address challenges and opportunities. It’s about these artists and all of the allies together contributing to community-defined social, physical, and economic outcomes and honoring a sense of place.
How do we Approach Our Work?
We believe that there are a set of people who wake up every day thinking about the future of their communities, and that these people work across a variety of sectors and desired outcomes and include everyone from residents to artists to teachers to professional community planners. We created this matrix to help us organize our work and communicate about it visually:
We define arts broadly and use the phrase “arts and culture” to represent many forms, including: craft & culinary arts, dance, design & architecture, film & media, folk & traditional arts, literature, music, visual arts, theater & performance, and other formal and informal creative practices.
Our Current Work
We’re focused on creating a strong creative placemaking field of practitioners by encouraging the adoption of creative placemaking practices.
To ensure the field remains robust, we’ll embed knowledge and resources within existing networks of practice and strengthen and empower local ecosystems to own and evolve the practice.