Engaging Local Government in Creative Placemaking

January 24, 2020

By: Engaging Local Government Leaders

Here at ArtPlace, we love nothing more than engaging local government leaders around creative placemaking. So when we learned about an amazing organization literally called Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL), we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to partner together along with Civic Arts as a part of our broader local government strategies.

As well as for folks who are working in local government, this partnership and the resulting conversations and resources will be useful to anyone who is figuring out how local government can play meaningful roles in creative placemaking projects. Individual artists, nonprofits, and others can learn from what is shared through this process and the broader networks of these organizations. ELGL is making this announcement to their members today. You can read more about what we're doing together below, and be sure to check out more resources on their websites.

  • Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL) is an “accidental professional association” that began in 2012 with a 16 member dinner group, and has now grown to over 4800 members from all 50 states plus Canada, UK, Israel and Australia.  Focused on all levels of local government (from analysts to mayors; librarians to planners; and everyone in between), ELGL’s mission is to engage the brightest minds in local government by providing timely and relevant content through podcasts, blogs, webinars, social media and conference gathering, with the objective of fostering authentic and meaningful connections that are grounded in practices of equity and inclusion.
  • Civic Arts (previously GO collaborative) is a non-profit organization that works at the intersection of art, urban planning, and community development to find creative solutions for complex local challenges. Harnessing the power of local arts and culture sector, the organization builds policy, engagement, and field building opportunities for arts and culture organizations that can inform, inspire, and create collective and equitable responses to current urban and rural needs.


The blog below was originally posted on ELGL's website on January 22, 2020.

- - -

ELGL is proud to announce a new content and learning partnership on creative placemaking! ELGL will work with ArtPlace America and Civic Arts ​ to share content, learning opportunities, and resources about how to use art and culture to build and grow strong communities

ELGL is calling this effort Creative Community, because this is a project that welcomes everyone to participate. We know that when all local government departments - from public works, to libraries, to budget offices (and everything in between) - use creative approaches, the result is stronger, more inclusive communities.

What is creative placemaking? It’s when arts and culture are fully embedded in the way we build and manage local governments and the communities they serve, and it also values full inclusion of all people in local decision making. The work of ArtPlace America and Civic Arts guides ELGL’s interest in and focus on this topic.

ELGL's goal with the Creative Community is to build out the knowledge and resources of local government leaders on creative placemaking. We want to help identify, collect, create and distribute all of the tools and resources you need to welcome arts and culture into your local government processes.

How will we do this? We’ll use all of ELGL’s communications resources to ensure that you can get information in the format you need. Everything will be stored on


Blog posts

Today kicks off a series of blog posts written by ELGL members and creative placemaking thought leaders. In this series, you’ll have a chance to learn more about how local governments are using creative approaches to all aspects of local service. And you’ll also learn from the leaders in the field about approaches and techniques that can work in your organization.



One of the best things about ELGL, is the connection we share online. As part of this program, we’ll ask you for ideas and feedback so we can assemble the best work that you’re doing related to creative placemaking, and share it for others to learn from and implement in their own way.


Monthly Webinars

Plan on tuning in on the fourth Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time for online learning opportunities. We’ll feature ELGL members and creative thought leaders to hear their stories and learn from their experiences.



GovLove will focus one episode per month on creative placemaking. We’ll start with an episode that explains this partnership, and then get a “Creative Placemaking 101” episode. For future episodes, we’ll talk with the local government leaders and artists who are doing interesting work together that you can learn from.


Social Sharing

All of this information will be compiled and shared on our social media channels, so you don’t miss a moment of learning. From new blog posts, to the latest webinar sign-up - you can follow along using our #CreativeCommunity hashtag on all ELGL social channels.


Creative Cohort

If you’re reading this post and recognizing the value of all of this learning and content, or if your community is already using creative approaches to placemaking, stay tuned for more information about our Creative Cohort. This is a small-group learning opportunity to join a cohort and dive deep into creative placemaking. As part of this cohort, you’ll attend and learn from special webinars, participate in peer-to-peer learning and content development, and share what you learn with the larger ELGL Creative Community. The cohort’s application process will open next week with more detail about what it entails and why it might be a good choice for you and your organization.

We hope you’re as excited as we are about this new partnership and learning opportunity. With your help, we’ll develop a content-rich resource that will benefit local government leaders for years to come.


- - -

This is part of a series sharing the work of our partners ELGL and CivicArts in a project called Creative Community. We know that when all local government departments - from public works, to libraries, to budget offices (and everything in between) - use creative approaches, the result is stronger, more inclusive communities. As well as these blog posts, tune in every fourth Wednesday at 10:00am PT to webinars featuring ELGL members and industry thought leaders. Also, The GovLove podcast will focus one episode per month on creative placemaking. See the all the past and upcoming podcasts here: Keep track of all the blog posts, webinars, and podcasts here: 

If you work within local government and are not a member of Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL) you can join the conversation here.


Social media sharing

Twitter: @elgl50, @artplaceamerica, @civicartsaustin


Instagram: @elgl50, @artplaceamerica