The Reinvestment Fund

Funding Received: 2011
Philadelphia, PA
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
December 7, 2011

This month the creative assets mapping team took our project to local stakeholders here in Philadelphia for feedback and discussion. As we begin to coalesce around the tool’s data, design, and features, we decided it was critical to get input early on from the tool’s community of potential users.

Our conversations were dynamic, with ideas ranging from generating Philly neighborhood arts and culture profiles to using spatial analytics to locate new creative firms or target potential cultural audiences. In addition to use cases, we identified many of the datasets that users want to have at their fingertips, and even located sources for much of this information.   We are particularly excited about the willingness of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) specialists from the City to make data available to us to share with the public through our creative assets mapping platform.

Altogether we hosted four user-group sessions on November 3rd and 4th, each centered around a distinct type of user: artistic and creative programming, tourism and marketing opportunities through cultural assets, real-estate and economic development applications, and cultural funders and capacity building. Each of the sessions was unique in its focus, but many common themes and ideas permeated all the sessions including: using the tool to facilitate relationship building and data sharing; using it to evaluate the impact of policies and programs over time; and using the tool to help make better decisions either through advocacy or in investment decisions.

Most of all, we are thrilled at the level of anticipation that greeted our presentation of the data we have already and the analytical opportunities afforded by interactive online mapping. As we move now into a more intensive development phase of the tool, we will continue to seek input from these voices as well as Philadelphia’s broader cultural and creative community.

The Creative Assets Mapping Platform is a project of the Reinvestment Fund (TRF), in collaboration with the Social Impact of the Arts Project (SIAP) at the University of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy. The platform in an interactive web-tool that will leverage a robust spatial database in order to inform planning, marketing, policy development and public investment strategies. It is our hope that this tool will foster cultural engagement and further neighborhood economic development through the synergies of creative activity and community building.