Monday, October 16, 2017

Want more hands-on experience with creative placemaking? Join an NCCP Strategy Lab

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

Conferences, webinars and walking tours are great for learning about creative placemaking.  But sometimes you want to roll up your sleeves and just get to it. 

That's why The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking now offers Strategy Labs.  In a Strategy Lab, you work on a real creative placemaking project for a real client.  They run from 90 minutes to two days.

The first Strategy Lab will be Thursday, October 19, from 4:30 to 7 in Hackensack.  We'll explore ways to activate Demarest Street, an underused pedestrian path that runs from the local bus station, across Main Street, and to the parking garage near the city's new performing arts center.  We'll work in partnership with the client -- the Hackensack Creative Arts Team -- and ArtsBergen's Connect the Dots program.  ArtsBergen is an initiative of the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation.



The next Strategy Lab will be November 10 and 11 at the Paterson Art Factory.  There we will help a unique maker space and filming center better connect with the surrounding community.  We will explore ways to organize open space at the facility for arts and cultural programming.  In addition, we'll explore how to make Spruce Street (which runs from the Great Falls National Park past the Art Factory and leads to Rte 19 and I-80) into a great corridor.  Finally, we'll also strategize ways to build the capacity of the Paterson Arts Council to lead and sustain these efforts.  The event is free, but a $20 donation to the Paterson Arts Council would be appreciated.



For more information, or to become a client for a Strategy Lab, please contact NCCP Executive Director Leonardo Vazquez by email or at 973-763-6352, x1

Explore a growing cultural center in South Jersey in the next Creative Placemaking Learning Tour

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

Learn more about Hammonton, this small town that is becoming a center of arts and creative placemaking in South Jersey. 

Explore Stockton University's Kramer Hall (home to several arts and cultural organizations), Hammonton Arts Center, Noyes Art Museum, Eagle Theater, and the future Arts Alley. Brainstorm with other creative placemakers on an opportunity site in downtown Hammonton. Then join your colleagues for lunch and a drink at the town's new craft brewery.
Ticket includes lunch. Rain date is November 5.  Register

This Creative Placemaking Learning Tour is produced by New Jersey Creative Placemakers, an initiative of The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking, in partnership with the Noyes Art Museum and the South Jersey Cultural Alliance. 
Creative Placemaking Learning Tours are a different kind of walking or bus tour.  We do more than explore the what of a place; we learn about how the work happened -- often from the people who were most involved.  We also take time to brainstorm ideas for an opportunity site on the tour.  Finally, we have some kind of social activity. 
Creative Placemaking Learning Tours are made possible through the support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

CP Learning Tour a fun way to learn about arts and history in Orange and West Orange

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

From the train or the highway, Orange, New Jersey looks like another working class suburb of Newark and New York.  But it's a city rich in history, culture and overlooked wealth.  Did you know that there's a 9,000 square foot house that had been built for the inventor of the modern paint can?  Or that what looks like an old vacant warehouse in the Valley Arts district is actually a major studio for Hip-Hop performers?

The participants in the Creative Placemaking Learning Tour learned this and more.  Led by Scott Schultz of the Valley Arts District and Karen Wells of the Orange Historic Commission, 15 people from around North Jersey walked around the Valley Arts District and took a bus tour to visit beautiful historic houses in the Seven Oaks neighborhood.

Stopping by Luna Moon, a mural in the Valley Arts District in West Orange.  The artist, Dan Fenelon, (standing, eighth from the left), was also on the tour.  Portions of the Valley Arts District are in West Orange.  Image credit:  Patricia Mitrano, West Orange Arts Council.

The tour was produced by New Jersey Creative Placemakers, an initiative of The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking; Orange Historic Commission; and Valley Arts.  Thanks also to the City of Orange, which provided a bus and driver to help the tour connect Valley Arts and Seven Oaks.

The next Creative Placemaking Learning Tour is Saturday, November 4, in Hammonton, NJ. Learn more or register.

For more information on this, or any other Learning Tour, please contact NCCP Executive Director Leonardo Vazquez by email or at 973-763-6352, x 1


Visiting historic houses in Seven Oaks in Orange.  Image credit: Patricia Mitrano, West Orange Arts Council

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

NCCP welcomes new Program Coordinator

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking is growing.  This month, Thomas Young joined us as Program Coordinator.

Thomas combines his background in theatre, landscape architecture, music, and ecology to explore a more positive and fulfilling communities in New Jersey and around the country. He is currently the Co-founder and Artistic Director of reThink Theatrical, a theatre company that provides free, accessible, and quality theatre to the public. He recently graduated from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey with a Master in Landscape Architecture.
Thomas Young, NCCP Program Coordinator
the field of creative placemaking. Combining the equity and access of the outdoors—ranging from urban to natural settings—with the storytelling and enriching experiences of art—ranging from performance to visual media—Thomas hopes to create

He is the new point of contact for many of our programs, including the Creative Placemaking Leadership Summits and New Jersey Creative Placemakers.  You can reach him by email.  (We are currently changing our phone system and will share his phone number when it is available.)

To get updates on programs produced by NCCP, sign up for our newsletterLike us on Facebook,  or follow us on Twitter.

Updates on Creative Placemaking Leadership Summits: Save the dates, themes for DC area conference, new partners

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

We're working hard on the Creative Placemaking Leadership Summits for 2018, and there is a lot of news to report:
  • Please hold March 14 and 15 for the Southeast Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit.  We'll soon announce where it will be.
  • The DC-area Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit will be held either October 5 and 6 or October 19 and 20, most likely in College Park, Maryland.  The DC-area Summit region includes Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia.  It will focus on these themes:
    • Protecting and enhancing historic, cultural and environmental assets
    • Leading community change
    • Building stronger ecosystems for creativity
    • Empowering communities
  • The Northeast Corridor, which explores issues affecting communities in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusets, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont, will be May 3 and 4 in New Jersey.  (Location TBD)  
  • We will be sending out a new RFP in October, after we have reviewed the first round of proposals with the planning teams.
  • It's always good to make more friends.  New partners and supporters for the Leadership Summits include ArtPlace America, Metris Arts Consulting, Mortimer and Mimi Levitt Foundation, and the New England and New York Metro chapters of the American Planning Association.
To get updates on Leadership Summits or other programs produced by NCCP, sign up for our newsletter, Like us on Facebook,  or follow us on Twitter.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Help communities and expand your creative placemaking skills through Strategy Labs

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

Want hands-on experience in creative placemaking?  Would you like to explore some ideas before you bring them to your own community?  Want to help places in and around New Jersey become better through creative placemaking?  Join in on a Strategy Lab.

A Strategy Lab is a hands-on experience that lets participants work for as little as 90 minutes or as much as two days on a creative placemaking challenge faced by a real community.  It was designed by New Jersey Creative Placemakers, an initiative of The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking, to help provide useful experience and help communities.

The first Strategy Lab will be in Hackensack, NJ, on Thursday, October 19.  There, we will be exploring ways to activate an underutilized pedestrian street.  This event is produced in partnership with ArtsBergen, an initiative of the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, and the City o Hackensack.  The event is free.  Learn more or register.

On November 10 and 11, we'll be at the Art Factory in Paterson, NJ.  There, we'll be exploring how to transform the open areas of an old industrial complex into a vibrant and inspiring creative and cultural space that will be open to the public.  More information on the program will be available soon.

To learn more about Strategy Labs, contact NCCP Executive Director Leonardo Vazquez by email or at 973-763-6352


To get updates on Strategy Labs or other programs produced by NCCP, sign up for our newsletterLike us on Facebook,  or follow us on Twitter.


Visit Valley Arts and Seven Oaks in next Creative Placemaking Learning Tour

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

The Valley Arts District in Orange and West Orange is a national model for creative placemaking. Seven Oaks is a nearby historic community of grant late 19th and early 20th century homes. Learn more about these communities, and brainstorm ideas for connecting them, at the next Learning Tour. The event is produced by New Jersey Creative Placemakers (an initiative of The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking), Valley Arts, and the Orange Historic Commission.  Register for the tour.
In this tour, you can visit the converted Berg Hat Factory, a hydroponic garden, a historic house in Seven Oaks, and other great locations.
The event is free, but please consider giving a $20 donation to the Valley Arts District Fund to support creative placemaking in the area.
Questions? Contact NCCP Executive Director Leonardo Vazquez at leo@artsbuildcommunities.com or 973-763-6352
This Creative Placemaking Learning Tour is produced by a partnership of New Jersey Creative Placemakers (an initiative of The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking), Valley Arts, and the Orange Historic Commission.

The next Creative Placemaking Learning Tour after Orange will be in Hammonton, NJ on November 4.

To get updates on Learning Tours or other programs produced by NCCP, sign up for our newsletterLike us on Facebook,  or follow us on Twitter.