Monday, August 22, 2016

Creative placemaking workshops explore crowdmapping, muraling, team building, financing and more

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/

Upcoming workshops by The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking can help you become a more effective creative placemaker.  You can learn:

  • Better ways to identify and map creative assets in your community (Why?  Because to choose where you want to go, you should know what you have)
  • How to create community murals
  • Strategies for funding creative placemaking initiatives 
  • Ways to build teams and public support for creative placemaking
Workshop instructors are experts in the growing field of creative placemaking:  Kadie Dempsey, Director of Creative Placemaking for Morris Arts and co-owner, CORE Creative Placemaking; Dan Fenelon, a muralist and public art sculptor, who is also co-owner, CORE Creative Placemaking; and Leonardo Vazquez, Executive Director, The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking.

Four workshops will be held between October 2016 and January 2017 at ArtPride New Jersey and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.  Each workshop is either a half-day or a full-day.Fees range from $65 to $150 per workshop.  Members of ArtPride and NCCP and Dodge grantees receive discounts of 25%. Members of Creative Teams that have received Community Coaching from NCCP receive discounts of 50%.

NCCP is looking for partners outside of New Jersey to host these and other creative placemaking workshops.  Partners receive a share of the net income from the workshops and receive discounts to the workshops and other NCCP events.  If you're organization is interested in hosting workshops, please contact Leonardo Vazquez by email or phone.

Creative Glassboro formed; welcoming volunteers for knitting and yarn-bombing initiative

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

The small but fast growing South Jersey town of Glassboro now has a group of leaders working to make it a better place through and for creativity.

Creative Glassboro's mission is to "integrate arts and culture into the fabric of downtown Glassboro as an economic development tool that will enhance our quality of life, provide better creative experiences, and promote new opportunities for the benefit of all our citizens.Through arts and culture, Glassboro, from the east and High Street Arts District towards the west to Rowan University, becomes an increasingly inviting place where artists, business owners, professionals, educators, and private citizens of all ages want to live, work and thrive.Our guiding principles towards this vision are to be inclusive and embrace the diversity that exists in our community; encourage a balance of commercial development with green conservation; promote and preserve our historically rich cultural heritage; and promote and support a diverse mix of private, commercial, and non-profit-led arts and culture initiatives and programs."

To that end, Creative Glassboro is partnering with the Rowan University Art Gallery on its first community initiative:  Yarn It.  This is a series of events, including community knitting, yarn-bombing, and  event to bring together residents and visitors and highlight the downtown area.  It will be held September 24 and October 15.

Creative Glassboro is a diverse team of town residents, merchants, public officials and other who were brought together through NCCP's Community Coaching initiative.  The team developed a vision plan for enhancing quality of life, economic opportunity and the creative environment through creative placemaking.  Yarn It is the first initiative developed through the plan. 

For more, please visit Creative Glassboro's website

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Call for session proposals for Creative Placemaking Knowledge Exchange

Call for Proposals: The Art of Healthy Communities, November 11, 2016, NJIT, Newark, NJ
Deadline: September 10 (Note new date)

Session proposals are being accepted for the second annual Creative Placemaking Knowledge Exchange, to be held November 11, 2016 at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, NJ.  

The theme of this year's conference is "The Art of Healthy Communities".  The conference is produced by The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking through support from New Jersey Health Initiatives, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts Our Town program.

We invite you to submit proposals for presentations on innovative or unusual research, thinking or practice in creative placemaking.  Preference will go to presentations that focus on the theme of the connection between public health and creative placemaking.  However, we are open to any presentations that demonstrate new knowledge or practice in the field.

The Knowledge Exchange is itself an unusual type of 'big ideas' conference.  Each speaker will have 5 to 7 minutes to present, and then will engage in conversation with audience members.  In the afternoon, all participants will engage in peer exchanges in which they collectively determine the topics they want to discuss.
Questions? Contact Leonardo Vazquez at  or 973-763-6352

Conference sponsors and supporters:

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Next Creative Placemaking Knowledge Exchange is Nov. 11; share your knowledge

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

The Art of Healthy Communities,  the 2016 Creative Placemaking Knowledge Exchange, is a conference that focuses on new research, big ideas and innovative practices in the field of creative placemaking.  This year, the theme focuses on how creative placemaking can enhance physical and mental health in communities.

We are seeking short presentations (5- 7 minutes) on current research or new initiatives in creative placemaking. They don't have to involve public health, but we prefer those that do.
The Art of Healthy Communities will be held on November 11, 2016 at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in the University Heights neighborhood of Newark, NJ.  Please submit your proposal by August 27.  We will notify all respondents of our selection by September 11.
If your presentation is selected for this event, you will be given a discount code for presenters. All presenters must register for the conference.

This is the second annual Knowledge Exchange. It is designed to explore new research, big ideas, and innovative practices in the growing field of creative placemaking. We expect the audience to include researchers, students, policy makers and grantmakers from the fields of arts, public affairs, urban planning, and community and economic development.

It's a different kind of academic or 'big ideas' conference. Instead of the usual question and answer session after each set of presentations, we'll invite audience members to share their own thoughts and give their insights.  In the afternoon, participants will select the topics they want to talk about in peer-facilitated conversations.

The Art of Healthy Communities is produced by The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking.  The program is sponsored by New Jersey Health InitiativesGeraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts Our Town program.

Questions? Please contact NCCP Executive Director Leonardo Vazquez at  or at 973-763-6352

New study shows growing number of artistic jobs in New Jersey

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

A new report by The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking shows how the creative economy in New Jersey is growing faster than the overall economy.  

Among the key findings:

 The number of wage-earning artistic occupations increased 4% from 2005 to 2015, from 85,900 to 90,580.  This represents a change of 3,480 jobs.  

 The growth of artistic jobs in New Jersey lagged behind that of the entire United States, which saw an 8% growth in the same artistic occupations between 2005 and 2015.  In the United States as a whole, the number of artistic occupations grew from 2.40 million in 2005 to 3.04 million in 2015, an increase of 191,470.

·         The number of artistic occupations grew while the total number of wage-earning jobs in New Jersey dropped. Between 2005 and 2015, the total number of wage-earning jobs in New Jersey dropped .3%, from 3.92 million to 3.91 million.  Without artistic occupations, there would have been 14,500 fewer wage earning jobs in New Jersey in 2015 than in 20015.

           Not all artistic occupations saw growth between 2005 and 2015.  The fastest growing occupations, in terms of number of jobs were: manicurists and pedicurists; baker; bartenders; postsecondary art, drama and music teachers; and chefs and head cooks.  Occupations that saw the greatest decline (in numbers) were: editors; graphic designers; media and communication equipment workers; architectural and engineering managers; and stonemasons. Overall, 21 of the 51 occupations saw increases in the number of jobs.

·         Wage growth is an important indicator of how an occupation is valued in the marketplace. The occupations with the highest increase in wage growth between 2005 and 2015, by absolute numbers were: archivists; film and video editors; museum technicians and conservators; editors and curators. The professions with the greatest decline in wages, were:  agents and business managers of artists, performers and athletes; broadcast technicians; fashion designers; landscape architects; and camera operators for television, video and motion pictures.

·         The number of freelance artists, writers and performers in New Jersey grew 22% from 2004 to 2014, from 17,980 to 21,880.

·         The growth in freelance arts professionals outpaced the overall growth in freelancers in New Jersey. In 2004, there were 556,970 freelancers in New Jersey; in 20014, 653,270. In fact, without the growth of freelance artists, there would have been a 4% decline in the number of freelancers in New Jersey.

·         Freelance artists, writers and performers generated 8% more revenue in 2014 than they did in 2004.  In 2014 dollars, artistic freelancers generated $492.8 million in 2014, compared to $458.3 million in 2004. 

·         The five counties with the greatest numbers of freelance artists, writers and performers in 2014 were, in order: Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Monmouth and Middlesex.

·         The five counties that saw the largest increases in the numbers of freelance artists, writers and performers between 2004 and 2014 were, in order: Essex, Bergen, Morris, Hudson and Monmouth. The five counties with the greatest percentage increase in artistic freelancers were, in order: Morris, Sussex, Burlington, Ocean and Essex.

·         The average annual salaries grew for 48% of artistic occupations from 2005 to 2015. This indicates a growing demand or growing value of these occupations in the economy.

·         Artistic professionals in New Jersey had at least $3.89 billion in disposable income in 2015. The actual amount of buying power may be much higher because wage information was not available for five occupations.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Creative Hackensack team seeking artists and musicians

From ArtsBergen

Call for artists and musicians for 2nd Hackensack Creative Arts Team Art Walk
The Creative Arts Team of the Hackensack Main Street Alliance is seeking musicians/music groups, 18+ years old to play at an outdoor arts exhibition in Hackensack, NJ.
The CAT Walk Art Exhibition on Saturday, August 6, 2016, is the second in a series of outdoor art  art, art demos, and live music. The exhibition is produced by the Hackensack Creative Arts Team (CAT), the Hackensack Art Club, the Main Street Business Alliance, and ArtsBergen.
Hackensack CAT Arts Walk, June 4, 2016
exhibitions celebrating local and regional artists. Demarest Place, the "Art Walk", in Hackensack, NJ will come to life with displays of

For musicians
Each musician/music groups will be given 55 minutes: a 45 minute set, with an additional 5 minutes to set-up and 5 minutes to break down. All genres encouraged to apply. PA provided; musicians bring backline (amps) and drums. Lyrics and content should not be explicit.
Applicants should electronically submit two songs/samples in mp3 format, bio, and link to website if applicable, to
by WEDNESDAY, JULY 6, 2016. Please indicate genre. 5 musicians/music groups will be selected.

For artists
Each artist will be given a 6x6 foot space along Demarest Place, off of Main Street, in Hackensack, NJ. Work shown must be wall mountable. No space fees apply.
Artists will be selected based on creativity and artistic merit by a panel of artists on the Creative Arts Team. Applicants should electronically submit 5-10 portfolio items indicating artist name, medium, and size, by email to by WEDNESDAY, JULY 6, 2016. All work must be original. Content should be family appropriate. 24 artists will be selected.
Any questions, please contact Stephanie O'Connor at
ArtsBergen is partnering with the Hackensack Creative Arts Team, a group of artists, merchants, organizational leaders and public officials that developed a creative placemaking plan integrating arts and culture into the City of Hackensack's redevelopment. The C.A.T Walk Art Exhibition is one project that helps to realize this plan by providing an opportunity for local artists to show their work to the community and bring Main Street to life through the arts. Click here for more information about Creative Hackensack.
The Creative Arts Team was developed through a Community Coaching initiative led by The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking.  Community Coaching was made possible by the Upper Main Street Business Alliance, the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation and the City of Hackensack, NJ.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Arts help connect plans to people

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

Creative placemaking can help bring more arts to communities. Arts can return the favor.

Consider this: The New Jersey cities of Perth Amboy and Hackensack have new creative placemaking plans.  In May and June 2016, the stewards of these plans brought them to arts festivals to raise awareness, get feedback, and generate interest.
US Congressman Frank Pallone (standing) reviews the Creative Perth Amboy plan
at the second annual Perth Amboy Waterfront Arts Festival, May 2016. The plan
 and the festival were produced by leaders of the Creative Perth Amboy team, who are
now part of the Perth Amboy Arts Council (another product of the planning effort)

Volunteers in Hackensack getting feedback on the Creative Hackensack vision plan
  during the CAT Walk art exhibition, June 2016.  Not only did this effort get
positive feedback on and ideas for the plan, at least 10 people signed up to get
more involved with the Hackensack Creative Arts Team and the plan 
The Perth Amboy plan was even treated like a work of art. The City held a one-day exhibit and reception for Creative Perth Amboy at the City's art gallery.  Large-scale maps from the plan and the vision were displayed on walls and easels.

An exhibit and presentation of Creative Perth Amboy at the
 Perth Amboy Gallery Center for the Arts, May 2016. There, Mayor Wilda Diaz
pledged to have the City implement and support the plan. 

It's not unusual for dozens, hundreds, or thousands of people to get involved in generating ideas for plans. But how many people actually read the final documents? Some planners do presentations of their final plans. But these tend to be quiet affairs, usually attended mostly by the people who had already been involved.  By making the plans part of arts events -- or making the plan presentation into an art event -- plan stewards can reach more people. And the planners, like the artists around them, can see if their work touches the hearts and minds of the public.

Note:  Both the Hackensack and the award-winning Creative Perth Amboy plans were developed through Community Coaching, a program of The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking. To learn more about this program, please contact NCCP Executive Director Leonardo Vazquez by email or at 973-763-6352.