We were thrilled with the turnout at our ArtPlace kickoff event. We saw a lot of new faces in the crowd—we weren’t just preaching to the choir of already engaged community members.
New and different community members, friends and supporters, and members of the arts and culture community turned up and were fully engaged during the Q and A session. We were equally pleased at the engagement of our local administration –from sitting with ArtPlace representatives to gain better understanding of the CDI program scope to the Mayor and his staff participating in the kickoff event.
Since the kickoff, Cook Inlet Housing has identified a few big picture questions to help guide our Cultural Asset Mapping activities:
1. How can CIHA create a process by which we can better reflect the diversity, culture and history of the community in our developments?
2. How can CIHA prioritize creative placemaking and activation of spaces which make our developments true community assets?
3. How can CIHA develop partnerships and build internal capacity that help guide our process and outcomes for long term community development success?
We hope that the community asset mapping exercise will uncover new and useful data to help guide our work.
Will we find new opportunities through new partnerships? Will we have better outcomes that help us attain better accountability to the communities we serve?
We are continuing to refine our understanding of cultural asset mapping and how to use it in application to our work. The webinars put together by ArtPlace have been helpful in assisting us to better understand how we might work with artists and in particular how we might be more successful in communicating our needs up front. We continue to call upon the concept shared in the first webinar, “go slow to go fast”. Being involved in ArtPlace has given us the opportunity to provide a new space, albeit temporary, for a variety of local artists to use in the creation of art and projects for the community. Under our normal model of business we would probably not have considered this interim use for a vacant building, but we are pleased to see how the artists are benefiting from this partnership.
Overall the award of the ArtPlace grant pushed CIHA to evaluate our current process and formulate some challenging questions for both internal and external discussions.