2018 marked a strategic pivot in ArtPlace’s trajectory. We began to evaluate various “gaps” and overlooked partners strengthening the field of creative placemaking. We broadly examined the arts and culture sector, including individual artists, art and cultural organizations, and the constellation of service agencies that support their work. Our focus was to balance these varied actors with field priorities, such as leadership development and knowledge building.
Beginning in 2019, we embarked on partnerships with ioby and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) knowing that direct support for artists’ projects goes hand in hand with government leadership.
These partnerships focused on engaging people to learn from each other, and learn by doing.
ioby offered Artists Lead! — a flexible funding opportunity for creative placemaking projects led by artists. It put cash directly into artists’ hands while providing one-on-one coaching and project development support. NASAA created research, convening, and cross-sector networking initiatives while uplifting the leadership of Community Development Coordinators across 56 U.S. states and territories. We attempted to balance the deepest value we hold for artists — without whom this work would cease to exist — with our regard for national purview and for how state-wide systems impact the work on the ground.