At ArtPlace we believe that research is only valuable to the extent that it informs practice. We seek to take all that we learn through our work in creative placemaking and package it in a way that boosts the efficacy of practitioners. Inherent in the breadth of practices that make up creative placemaking is the fact that success looks different for every project depending on its local context, stated goals, and related cells of the Community Development Matrix. Rather than attempt to develop universal systems to quantify projects, we instead simply ask "what is it you are trying to do, and how are you going to know whether you have done it?" Then we take those responses and activate them via three primary research strategies:
ArtPlace seeks to harvest the full range of measurement work that our funded projects have been doing with an eye toward analyzing, organizing, and disseminating the measurement techniques that have worked best and most efficiently. By sharing this work with the creative placemaking field at large, we can help minimize the need for projects to reinvent the wheel when they can instead borrow from one another.
In a similar vein, ArtPlace will also harvest, organize, and disseminate the learning around best practices from projects we have funded, as well as others. These case studies, lessons learned, and project manager toolkits will document how communities have done the analyses of their needs; how projects have been conceived; and how they have been deployed.
ArtPlace’s signature research activities will combine our measuring and learning work to translate the outcomes of creative placemaking projects into the various languages of community planning and development as laid out in our guiding matrix. These translational products will lay out in one place – and for a specific audience – what a creative placemaking intervention can do; how the intervention can be deployed; and a way of knowing whether the intervention has worked.