Earlier this year we tipped our hand about sharing a tool that lays out how the arts and culture sector organizes itself. The Community Development Matrix has proved valuable in helping us analyze the diversity of our work by sector and stakeholder type, but what about arts and culture? If our goal is to integrate the arts into community planning and development, we should bring he same level of rigor to each domain. This framework offers us a way to keep tabs on the arts disciplines and types of practitioners that comprise the creative placemaking field.
ArtPlace team concentrating around a table
One of the first tasks I was charged with when I joined ArtPlace eight weeks ago was planning a staff retreat. Not knowing much about the organization and most important, our amazing staff, I was a bit wary about the outcomes with me at the helm. At the same time, I believe in staff retreats and the need to reflect on an organization’s progress. In my previous positions I had always carved out time for the organization to reflect on its work and strategically plan. I was excited to jump in as I knew it would be a great crash course on the organization and my new colleagues!
Young child in pink sweater painting with two adults by her side
Below is a summary of a conversation between Susan Delvalle from the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling, and Lynn Rippy from YouthBuild and IDEAS 40203. As the great philosopher Whitney Houston said “I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.” Which is a cheeky way to start this blog post, but yet a quite accurate lead-in to the conversation below. Perhaps it would be even more accurate if Whitney had brought in the arts into her melody, or as Lynn Rippy says: “Young people have the answers to the problems that we see in the world and their abilities to express themselves creatively to answer those problems is probably the number one way to change our world.”
Image of a woman listening to a man speak
I have to admit that I have re-written this blog over a number of times in, what feels like, a futile attempt at identifying the best way to share all of the learnings that our team has gathered over the course of the last year. Beyond sharing what we’ve learned, I want to help you all understand how it is influencing where we are headed in regards to the annual funding ArtPlace provides. Some of you may have read my last post that announced a shift from a September open call to January of 2016. If you missed that post, you can read it here, and then come back to this post to learn more about what to expect next.
The words "creative placemaking" over a cream background
Written by Ann Markusen and Anne Gadwa Nicodemus, at the request from the Mayor's Institute on City Design, the Creative Placemaking white paper was the first essay to bring the phrase ‘creative placemaking’ to American communities. Commissioned in 2010, it touched on what creative placemaking is, what it does, who it involves and what it achieves. In essence it was the first iteration of the Four Questions grantees should ask about their creative placemaking project.
I should probably introduce myself before I head into my blog ramblings. I’m Marirosa García, the new Social Media Manager here at ArtPlace America. You probably know me best from that recent Twitter retweet or that totally on-point Instagram posting about coffee and Mondays. Yes, that was me. Hello. I thought for my first post I would speak a bit about being new to not only ArtPlace but creative placemaking as well. Before I worked at ArtPlace America (a scant 4 weeks ago) I spent six years in the publishing industry.
Image of a plate of food farmed with sustainable methods
This post is the ninth in a ten-part series continuing those conversations, and it focuses on Agriculture & Food. Below is a summary of a conversation between Donna Neuwirth and Jay Salinas from the Wormfarm Institute; and Emily Raine and Stuart Siegel from the International Sonoran Desert Alliance. What luck that our discussion of the Agriculture & Food sector falls right before one of the biggest food celebrations of the year, which brings to mind the role of agriculture and food in history and community— roles that bubbled up in our conversation below.
Children in a playground
As ArtPlace's research director I find myself in countless cross sector conversations across the country. Whether I’m on a panel myself or in the audience at someone else’s presentation, my job is to listen for alignments and to look for opportunities to connect the arts to other community development efforts and agendas. Two things have jumped out at me in the past couple months. The first is that a lot of people outside of the arts point to the 2010 Gallup / Knight Soul of the Community study as central to their work.
Older man fixing side of a house.
This post is the eighth in a ten-part series continuing those conversations, and it focuses on Immigration. Below is a summary of a conversation between Nia Umoja, of the Cooperative Community of New West Jackson and Henry Reese, of City of Asylum. The immigration sector stretches beyond law and public policy to include how communities navigate all entrants and exits, and how new inhabitants contribute to community identity. “Experiencing another person and exploring what it means to relate to other people in your community is a valuable and conjoining force..."
About a year ago we put the Community Development Matrix together to lay out our sense of how the community planning and development world self-organizes. It helps us break things down into more digestible morsels and monitor the diversity of perspectives we take into account across all four of our lines of work. After debuting the matrix at our Summit and sharing it with colleagues across the country, it’s time to share what we’ve affectionately named the Matrix 2.0. We’ve also cooked up a potential way to bring similar rigor to how we look at the arts world, but let’s save that for a separate post.
National Creative Placemaking Fund