By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP
Please join Arts Build Communities at "Creative Place-Making: Realizing the Potential of Arts and Culture in Community and Economic Development," a public event organized and hosted by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission Friday, June 29, from 9 am to 2 pm in its offices in Philadelphia.
You can learn from a number of experts in creative placemaking in the morning and share ideas with your colleagues in the afternoon. Invited speakers include: Jane Golden, Executive Director of the Mural Arts Program in Philadelphia; Brian O'Leary, Section Chief of County Planning, Montgomery County (PA) Planning Commission; Nancy DeLucia, Director of Policy & Community Engagement, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance; and me (Leonardo Vazquez), the Director of Arts Build Communities of Rutgers University.
Thursday, May 31, 2012
By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP
By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP
Yeah, we know that officially Santa Fe, NM is more than 400 years old. But the Santa Fe that most people know -- the home of what's known in design as the Santa Fe Style -- dates from the first part of the 20th century.
As we reported in "How planning turned a dusty village into an international icon," the Santa Fe that celebrates adobe houses, Native American art, and Spanish/Mexican/Pueblo inspired food started in the early 1900s. In 1912, these ideas became a foundation for the city's policies to this day.
|The New Mexico Museum of Art exemplifies Santa Fe Style|
But Santa Fe was different. "Although originating within the nationwide City Beautiful movement, Santa Fe's plan was innovative in that it merged the movement's emphasis on order and refinement with the revival of a local style," say Janet Chapman and Karen Barrie in Kenneth Milton Chapman: A Life Dedicated to Indian Arts and Artists.
In other words, rather than just promote the high arts and build romanticized replicas of ancient Greek and Roman communities, leaders in Santa Fe saw the existing landscapes, cultures and diversity in the place as assets.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Arts Build Communities is honored to receive a $25,000 grant from the prestigious Geraldine R.d Dodge Foundation. The ongoing support of the grant is being used to enhance our programs that serve communities and creative placemakers. Those programs include community coaching, the Master Practitioner Certificate in Creative Placemaking, thought leadership, New Jersey Creative Vitality Index, and leading the Sustainable Jersey Arts and Culture Task Force. ABC is also involved in several creative placemaking and community service initiatives through partnerships with Creative New Jersey and Rutgers University's The Collaborative: A Center for Community-Based Learning, Service, and Public Scholarship
This is the third year that the Dodge Foundation has supported Arts Build Communities. This grant is the largest that ABC has received from the foundation.
New Brunswick Cultural Center to host reception for New Brunswick artists and creative sector workers
|Crossroads Theater in New Brunswick.|
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
When you're ready to do creative placemaking, community coaching from Arts Build Communities can help. Through this program, an ABC coach will help your team build its ability to pursue a creative placemaking initiative. Successful teams come away from the program more knowledgeable and better positioned to address challenges and pursue opportunities for creative placemaking in their communities.
Any community within 2 1/2 hours of Newark, NJ is welcome to apply for the next available community coaching session, from September 2012 to March 2013. (Application deadline is September 1) See the application here.
It all starts with having the right group of people who share the same goals and a willingness to work together. Here are some tips on building that team.
2. If there's an arts council (or similar group) in the community, get at least one high-level person from that group on the team. While it might be tempting to make all the 10 members of your team from the arts council, you should try to make the team as diverse as possible. So try to have no more than three from the arts council. If there's no arts council, start by finding a local working artist who has an interest in making your community a better place to live, work, do business, play or pray in, or even just a better place to visit.
3. Find and get influential people from the community on the team. Think about the organizations or associations that are well-known or do a lot in the community. In many communities, the local chamber of commerce, historic society, large sports groups, and PTA are the top movers and shakers in the community. But if you're not sure, ask your friends or neighbors. When someone or some group is influential, other people in the community know.
4. Get a friendly elected official to get on board the team. It's critical that the team have the ear of at least one elected official in the community. ABC may consider working with a team that doesn't have an elected official if there is someone on the team who has direct access to elected officials -- but this would be for a rare circumstance.
5. Meet with the team (or as many members as you have) to decide what goal you want to pursue. You don't need to get into details -- that's what community coaching is for. If you can't get everybody in the same place at the same time, try a conference call or even an email discussion.
Once you have the team and a goal, you'll be ready for community coaching.
Need more advice or help? No problem. Please contact Leonardo Vazquez, ABC Director by email or at 848-932-2747
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Maxwell Azzarello, who joined Arts Build Communities as a student worker in September 2011 and took on more and more challenging tasks, has joined Nestio, a New York City-based real estate listing.
Upon completing his Master in City and Regional Planning in May, Max will set off to work as an administrator for Nestio, a Manhattan-based real estate listing start-up, where he will be serving clients and applying social media and other Web 2.0 technologies to the field. Though he will miss ABC, Max looks forward to reading literature on the beach and playing with his new kitten, Kyle.
Thanks for your service, Max and good luck with the new job.
New Jersey is working on a new State Plan to guide development and redevelopment throughout the state. In early 2012, a draft was circulated for public comment. While it had many good elements, the Arts Build Communities Board was concerned that there was no mention of the arts or creative placemaking in the plan.
The State Plan is designed to guide state policies and government actions. If the arts can be recognized as an important asset for New Jersey in the State Plan, it will help artists, arts organizations, and communities that value the arts.
In March, ABC board members drafted a set of recommendations to the Office for Planning Advocacy, which is developing the plan. We recommended that the state:
*Commit to enhancing cultural assets in New Jersey as part of its long-term vision for the state
*Recognize the wide range of value that arts brings to New Jersey -- in particular the widespread economic benefit of the arts
*Identify opportunities for cultivating arts and culture as part of its efforts to increase tourism.
Read the full text of ABC's letter to the Office for Planning Advocacy
Arts Build Communities provides expertise in how the arts connect economic and community development. We provide thought leadership on creative placemaking and promote creative placemaking as a cost-effective approach for community, cultural and economic development.