ArtPlace believes that non-governmental community planning and development organizations often serve as a “long-term guarantor of value” or stewards of long-term vision in a place. This was a key audience for us to embed arts-based strategies and partnerships in the long-term. We believe that there is a growing interest by these organizations to take up arts-based work, but that there is a gap in knowledge of how to do it well and how to do it in a way that supports core mission delivery.
The goal of the CDI program was to investigate and support place-based community development organizations to sustainability incorporate arts and culture into their core work in order to achieve their missions more effectively, more efficiently, and for more residents of their communities. In particular, the program focuses on organizations that haven’t had significant experience working with arts and culture partners and challenges them to develop new relationships and projects to support their core mission.
The program, which launched in 2015, provided $3m of flexible funding to each of these six organizations over three years along with technical assistance on executing and financing creative placemaking.
The results of this program are documented at communitydevelopment.art by our partner, PolicyLink.
The six organizations chosen were intentionally diverse in community context, organizational type, and goals to help us learn as much as we could about how this work plays out in different contexts. These six organizations included:
- Cook Inlet Housing Authority, Anchorage, AK
- Fairmount Park Conservancy, Philadelphia, PA
- Jackson Medical Mall Foundation, Jackson, MS
- Little Tokyo Service Center, Los Angeles, CA
- Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership, Southwest Region, MN
- Zuni Youth Enrichment Project, Zuni, NM
One of the signature aspects of the CDI program is that it was focused not just on doing creative placemaking, but on the wholesale integration of arts and cultural strategies into an organization’s core work. ArtPlace has been very clear that we have no intention of changing the missions of the participating organizations, but rather to explore how arts and cultural strategies can influence how they carry out their missions in the long-term. The CDI program offered technical assistance, networking, and regular advice throughout the course of three years to support the organizations in:
- considering the many ways that arts-based strategies can help achieve organizational and community goals
- executing multiple projects that involve the arts in community planning, engagement, programming, design, and development
- incorporating this way of working into their organization long-term