ArtPlace America’s Community Development Investments (CDI) program provides funding and technical assistance to community development organizations who haven’t previously had a significant history of working with arts and culture.
The first nine months of the program have been focused on learning core concepts of creative placemaking, undertaking cultural asset mapping activities, and beginning to plan projects with local communities.
We asked each participating organization to reflect on three things they’ve learned at the recent ArtPlace Summit and technical assistance visits, three challenges and opportunities they are currently facing, and three things they’re looking forward to in the future.
For more information about Jackson Medical Mall Foundation, visit their homepage on our website!
The process for incorporating art into the core work of Jackson Medical Mall came full circle after visiting the ArtPlace Summit in April. Each time we come in contact with the experts at ArtPlace, whether through conferences or technical assistance visits, we leave with a clearer picture of how art will impact the work that we began 20 years ago.
At the ArtPlace Summit, we were able to gain ideas and inspiration about how art and community development intersect. We really appreciated learning about St Paul's Pop Up Meeting Popsicle Truck as a tool to increase community participation in civic events. Exploring the benefits of placing culturally relevant murals on buildings, fences and walls in blighted areas has spun additional conversation on how to temporarily transform abandoned spaces until they are ready for development. We also appreciated the conversations on community engagement strategies that involved community-based focus groups and working groups. This information was particularly valuable during the cultural asset mapping phase.
During the technical assistance visit in May, we appreciated each of the presentations demonstrating community engagement strategies similar to the strategies that we’ve previously implemented. We also benefited from the discussions about the need to conduct proposed projects in phases. Phasing large projects enables us to plan strategically and to make sure that our efforts are well-executed and sustainable.
As we begin to integrate art into our mission, the Jackson Medical Mall Foundation will host its first Back to School Jam celebrating the arts. JumpStart: The Back to School Jam is an opportunity for students to exhibit their talent in an art showcase, while being provided with free school supplies, health screenings and immunization necessary for the upcoming school year. The Jackson Medical Mall Foundation is excited to engage the community through the arts, while also providing an atmosphere for health, wellness and fun.