Tales from a Creative Placemaking Newbie

November 30, 2015

By: Marirosa Garcia, Social Media Manager

Hello Everyone!

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. These years were filled with fantastic books, memories and friends that will be with me always, so you can imagine I was a bit nervous to start fresh in the creative placemaking field.

My first day on a job I sat in an hour and a half meeting about…something I have completely forgotten, but by the end of it I was incredibly confused and hoped it didn’t show (it did). On my second day I attended the Fairmount Park Conservancy forum to kick off the CDI program. Still new to this world the forum presented a much needed in-person view of the work ArtPlace and their grantees were doing in Philadelphia. If you’d like to learn more about our six CDIs you can explore their work here.

On my second week I was tasked with tweaking our components of creative placemaking, or the four questions to ask about a creative placemaking project:

1. What is the geographic community?

2. What is the desired community change?

3. How will the arts help achieve that change?

4. How will you know that change is happening?

Again, I was nervous. In fact, nervousness mingled with excitement would be the defining emotions of my first month here. And possibly my second, with excitement beating out nervousness with each passing day.

But I’m very thankful that I helped tweak these questions because they helped me find my footing and understand the field better. To further my knowledge I read articles and essays on not only the creative placemaking in general, but case studies from previous ArtPlace grantees which continued to ground me in the work and history. But I think the biggest way I’ve gotten to know creative placemaking is through the people. Not only my amazing colleagues, but the grantees and their projects.

Through blog posts, Facebook, and Twitter I’ve followed their work and the passion behind it. Watching our grantees grow and develop their projects has taught me so much about creative placemaking.

So, I suppose, it’s not very odd to write about being new, as we’ve all been ‘new’ to creative placemaking at some point, and as the field continues to expand and grow we’ll all be new to more things as they come along. And soon enough there will be some new ArtPlace grantees to meet and learn from, something I’m particularly excited about!

Well, for the moment this is all from me, but I look forward to speaking with all of you across our social channels…and I wouldn’t be a good Social Media Manager if I didn’t remind you to follow ArtPlace across all our platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Hopefully we can continue to learn, share, speak on creative placemaking together!