It’s not often that you get to spend a month on the road with your coworkers! During October, Jamie B, Prentice, and I shared many planes and coffees visiting each of the six Community Development Investments participants. We were able to visit the communities and spend time with the staff, and it was a great way to get the program up and running!
So, how is the kickoff process going?
- Community Forums: In each location throughout October, participating organizations held events inviting their communities to come learn more about the program. In addition to representatives from ArtPlace and ArtPlace’s funding partners, we were thrilled by the number and diversity of other speakers on the program – from mayors to state housing commissioners to private developers to local artists. It was a great opportunity to chat about the potential role of arts in the community, hear about community priorities, and share some great local art and food. We have posted recordings of all six events and their corresponding programs below!
- Capacity & Strategy: A lot of our initial conversations with each organization have focused on how to build internal capacity and identify the organizing principles and process for determining projects. We know that each organization will be making decisions on projects in concert with the local community, and we want to make sure that arts and cultural strategies are adding value and filling gaps in how the organization does its work, rather than adding a new, disconnected set of projects and priorities. We’ll be sharing more about this over the coming months.
- Cultural Asset Mapping: One of the first things we’ve asked each organization to do is go through a cultural asset mapping process. Quite simply, this is a way for each organization to do some due diligence and initial research on the people, organizations, places, events and/or real estate that are a part of the local arts and cultural ecosystem. To get this process started, we collaborated last week with Seth Beattie of Spire + Base to host a webinar along with some additional colleagues to provide an overview on how to think about goals, methodologies, and information sources.
One of the biggest takeaways that may seem obvious but is also important to consider is that “form follows function” – i.e. the methods you choose to collect and share information should be based on what you or others might plan to do with the information down the road.
So stay tuned over the coming months as we will continue to share resources along with what we’ve learned so far. And many thanks to our Cultural Asset Mapping panelists:
- Seth Beattie – Spire + Base
- Tom Borrup – Creative Community Builders
- Margaret Bruning & Erin Harkey – LA County Arts Commission
- Anne Gadwa Nicodemus – Metris Arts Consulting
- Hanmin Liu – Wildflowers Institute
CDI Participants and their forums: