ArtPlace believed that the higher education sector was an important participant in building the creative placemaking field. Developing the next generation of leaders and establishing a knowledge base was work that higher education institutions and those that work for these institutions were uniquely qualified to do. To that end, ArtPlace supported a variety of partners who were working to achieve the following outcomes: 

  • Creative placemaking degrees, minors, and majors and aligned curricula embedded across a variety of types of institutions
  • Shareable curricula, resources, and syllabi that are easily accessible
  • Published papers on creative placemaking in academic journals
  • Scholars who count creative placemaking as their research area
  • A growing community of practice among practitioners and academics who convene, share best practices, discuss, and problem solve around creative placemaking issues
  • A generation of practitioners inspired to work at the intersection of arts and culture and community planning and development in equitable and sustainable ways

To support the creation of degrees and aligned curricula across institutions, we partnered with four institutions of higher education – Arizona State University, Maryland Institute College of Art, University of New Mexico, and The New School.  The work that these institutions embarked on and will continue to pursue will embed creative placemaking strategies within their curricula as well as contribute to a growing community of practice. They will train the next generation of practitioners who are employing arts and cultural strategies and tools to create more healthy, equitable, and sustainable communities.

Scholars from both the University of Florida and the University of Oregon were funded to edit a special edition of two peer-reviewed journals. The journal Health Promotions Practice invited as a guest editor Jill Sonke, the Director of the Center for the Arts in Medicine at University of Florida’s College of the Arts. Similarly, the Journal for Urban Affairs invited as a guest editor Eleonora Redaelli, Associate Professor in Planning, Public Policy, and Management at the College of Design at the University of Oregon. Both concentrate on and contribute to the existing literature creative placemaking and provide outlets for those academics who want to count creative placemaking as their research focus.

To support all of this work and create a comprehensive repository of shareable curricula, resources, syllabi, case studies, and papers, the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru) at the University of Michigan was funded to create  an online hub for creative placemaking.