Friday, April 10, 2015

Join us in Seattle at the APA national conference

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

Leonnardo Vazquez
If you will be in the Seattle area on April 19 or 20, and want to learn more about NCCP's programs, please say hello to NCCP Executive Director Leonardo Vazquez.  He will be at the American Planning Association national conference.

Leo will be speaking the afternoon of April 19 on culturally competent planning and engagement, and will be available that Sunday and April 20 to meet at the conference.

Please reach out to Leo by email or at 973-763-6352

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Share your insights at the 2015 Creative Placemaking Knowledge Exchange

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

Get insights into the latest thinking and research in how arts and culture help address community and economic development issues at the 2015 Creative Placemaking Knowledge Exchange. The gathering will be held June 26 at the Rutgers University School of Public Affairs and Administration in Newark, NJ.

The Knowledge Exchange is designed for researchers, funders, policy makers and reflective practitioners in creative placemaking. 
  • Early bird: $90. Register by June 10. Afterwards, registration is $100.
  • National Consortium for Creative Placemaking subscribers and presenters: $65.  Please see recent NCCP newsletter for discount code
  • Current Rutgers, NJIT, and Ohio State University students: $20.  (To get the discount code, please send an email to Leonardo Vazquez at  Proof of current student enrollment required.)

It includes breakfast, lunch, afternoon beverage, a walking tour, lots of useful information and maybe some new connections.
Register now

Informal but informative, the Knowledge Exchange will feature peer learning with topics chosen by the participants, along with quick and to-the-point presentations from creative placemakers.
Pecha Kucha, lightning talks, open space technology.  If you know these terms, you’ll understand what makes this convening different. If you don’t, join us and see for yourself.

Would you like to present on new research or initiatives in creative placemaking?  Propose a presentation

The Knowledge Exchange is produced by The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking, Rutgers University School of Public Affairs and Administration, Rutgers University Arts, Culture and Media Department and The Ohio State University’s Certification in Creative Placemaking program.  It is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation.

For more information, contact NCCP Executive Director Leonardo Vazquez at 973-763-6352 or by email

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

New State of the Creative Economy report shows positives and challenges for New Jersey's creative sector

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

By various measures, the creative sector is a growing part of New Jersey's economy, but the state lags behind the United States as a whole in growing its economy of creative professionals and businesses.

This is according to the State of the Creative Sector in New Jersey 2015, recently published by The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking. The report looks at trends in New Jersey's creative economy from 2002 to 2012. Among the key findings are:

More people in New Jersey are working in the creative sector. The total number of jobs, including freelancers, grew by 4% from 247,762 jobs to 257,376

There are more for profit, nonprofit, and freelance businesses in New Jersey’s creative sector. The total number of organizations grew by 27%, adding 15,042 establishments to the overall economy. This is an increase from 55,750 in 2002 to 70,792 in 2012.

Freelancers are an important indicator for the creative sector, signifying stronger confidence in the local economy. There was tremendous growth in the number of freelancers in the creative sector, with a 41% increase from 35,299 to 49,946 organizations. This is a change of 14,647 establishments.

Independent artists, writers, and performers generated more total revenue, but less income per artist. Between 2002 and 2012, total receipts grew by $39.6 million. However, per artist revenue decreased from $32,237 per year to $22,862 per year.

Similarly, the annual per employee payroll of people working in the creative sector has declined. It decreased from $34,668 per year in 2002 to $28,536 per year in 2012.

The industries that had the largest gains in the number of establishments were hair, nail, and skin services, full service restaurants, independent artists, writers, and performers, photography services, and jewelry stores.

The industries that had the greatest growth in jobs were full service restaurants, hair, nail, and skin services, independent artists, writers, and performers, fine art schools, and photography services. - Despite this growth in New Jersey’s creative sector, growth in New Jersey lagged behind that of the United States. Creative sector establishments in the US grew by 39% and creative sector jobs grew by 12%, far outpacing growth in New Jersey.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

NCCP to publish report on New Jersey's creative economy

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

How has New Jersey's creative economy fared over the past decade?  The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking will share its findings in a report to be published in late March on NCCP's website. 

Executive Director Leonardo Vazquez previewed some of the findings at a February meeting of the New Jersey State Council for the Arts in Morristown NJ.  Among them were:

*The number of private-sector establishments in New Jersey's creative sector -- including for-profit and not-for-profit -- grew 27% from 2002 to 2012.
*There were slightly more jobs in New Jersey's creative sector in 2012 than in 2002.  There was a 4% increase, which kept pace with overall job growth in New Jersey.
*The fastest growing industries in the creative sector were hair, nail and skin services; photography services; and full-service restaurants.

Read more about these findings, or other research conducted by NCCP.

To get updates when the report is published, please subscribe to NCCP's newsletter

NCCP's work with Sustainable Jersey spurs creation of at least 46 Creative Teams in New Jersey

By Leonardo Vazquez

With the support of nearly 75% of the towns in New Jersey, Sustainable Jersey is one of the most successful programs working to protect the environment, enhance economic prosperity, and make places more livable.

For several years, NCCP has helped lead Sustainable Jersey's Arts and Creative Culture Task Force, and with our partners, we've helped promote broad partnerships and planning for creative

Under the Sustainable Jersey program, municipalities get points for taking a set of steps called 'actions'.  For example, educating residents about clean energy earns a municipality 10 points.  One-hundred and fifty points are needed for bronze certification; 350 for silver.

The Arts and Creative Culture Team developed three actions, which together are a guide for creative placemaking: Establish a Creative Team,  Creative Assets Inventory, Creative Placemaking Plan.  Together they provide 30 points, 20% of what a municipality needs for certification.

The Creative Team action is designed to help build diverse partnerships and a team of stewards for creative placemaking.  The Inventory action encourages towns to get to kno
w about creative organizations and people in their communities, as well as spaces for creativity.  The Plan action challenges towns to make creative placemaking part of their approaches to sustainability.

As of early 2015, at least 46 communities have put together teams for creative placemaking and applied for Sustainable Jersey recognition.  One -- Cape May -- has completed all three actions.

The Task Force is now working on another action that rewards municipalities for supporting arts and cultural projects.  The Task Force is open to anyone interested in arts, culture and sustainability; we welcome new members at any time.

For more information about the Sustainable Jersey Arts and Creative Culture Task Force, please contact Leonardo Vazquez by email or at 973-763-6352

Saturday, December 27, 2014

NCCP offers several ways to learn creative placemaking

By Leonardo Vazquez

The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking is a leading source of learning about the growing field of creative placemaking.  Partnering with The Ohio State University and other organizations, we offer several ways to help you build your knowledge and skills.

Internationally-known public art guru Jane Golden speaks
at 2014 Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit
Online programs 

If you would like to learn a little about creative placemaking, or explore its connections to equity and sustainability, try any of our upcoming webinars:

  • Creative placemaking: integrating community, cultural and economic development, Tuesday, February 10, 2 pm to 3:30 pm (all times eastern)
  • Creative placemaking and human needs placemaking, Tuesday, March 10, 2 pm to 3:30 pm
  • History of creative placemaking in the United States, Wednesday, April 7, 2 pm to 3:30 pm
  • Cultural districts and cultural institutions: suns or black holes, Tuesday, May 5, 2 pm to 3:30 pm
  • Community coaching: a new way to speak truth to power, Tuesday, June 9, 2 pm to 3:30 pm
  • How creative placemaking can help build more resilient communities, Tuesday, July 9, 2 pm to 3:30 pm
Each webinar is $40.  We will request 9 AICP Certification Maintenance credits for all the sessions, including 1.5 ethics credits.  Learn more or register for the webinars. 

Graduates of the Certification in Creative Placemaking program are among the smartest and most well-prepared creative placemakers in their area.  This is the program for those who want to build a career in this growing field.

Through this challenging and unique program, participants learn about many aspects of creative placemaking --

  • Community development
  • Economic development
  • Quantitative and qualitative analysis
  • Team and community building
  • Site planning
  • Cultural tourism
  • Entrepreneurial leadership
Students -- who are professionals and graduate students at all levels and come from around the world -- learn in several ways:  reading scholarly work and studies, engaging in thoughtful conversations with instructors and classmates, participating in monthly leadership development sessions, and working on a project in a community of their choice.

The program runs from August 2015 to June 2016. Tuition is $3,500, and we are submitting the program for 18 AICP Certification Maintenance credits.  


NCCP conducts a variety of presentations on creative placemaking throughout the year.  Our next presentations will be:

Training sessions and other events
NCCP is planning a number of training sessions and events on creative placemaking in 2015.  To get updates on these:

Webinars and the Certification in Creative Placemaking are produced in partnership with the City and Regional Planning section of The Ohio State University's Knowlton School of Architecture. Webinars, as well as training sessions and other events in New Jersey, are made possible in part by the generous support of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Registration open for Certification in Creative Placemaking Program; Learn more at an information session

By Leonardo Vazquez

Creative placemaking is a fast-growing field in the arts, community and economic development, and urban planning and policy.  NCCP and Ohio State University offer one of the most distinct, comprehensive and challenging continuing education programs in this field.

The Certification in Creative Placemaking offers you much more than training. Our 10-month program helps you build a deep knowledge set for creative placemaking, develop your leadership and strategic communication skills, and share ideas with other smart professionals and students.  You will learn from top creative placemaking professionals in the United States.

This program is convenient -- entirely online and no required meetings. (Though you'll probably want to join your classmates in videoconferences and get-togethers.)  Graduate students can get three credits and, for AICP members, we will be requesting 18-28 CM credits.

The program has attracted artists, arts administrators, urban planners, government professionals, policy professionals and others from throughout the United States, Colombia, Egypt, New Zealand and The Philippines.

Want to learn more?  Please visit the program website, and sign up for a free information session: