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:

NCCP unveils new website

By Leonardo Vazquez

The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking has a new website.  This is one of the major steps to help us promote quality creative placemaking and to build a community of creative placemakers.  You can also learn about the various ways NCCP serves the creative placemaking field and communities that want to engage in creative placemaking.

This is the first major round of improvements to the website.  Please stay tuned for more updates.

Please visit the new website.

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Friday, November 7, 2014

Keep up with creative placemaking news, funding opportunities and NCCP through Facebook and Twitter

By Leonardo Vazquez

As part of our effort to build a nationwide community of creative placemakers, The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking now has Facebook and Twitter pages.  Like us on Facebook.  Follow us on Twitter.

We are sharing updates about creative placemaking activities in the United States and elsewhere, funding opportunities, and of course, the work of NCCP.

Anyone subscribed to the NCCP newsletter is welcome to send us updates that we will share as we are able.  Subscribe to the newsletter.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Hackensack gets community coaching for creative placemaking

The city of Hackensack, NJ, is engaging in creative placemaking to enhance the city through arts and culture.  The Hackensack Main Street Business Alliance, a partnership between the City and local businesses, is exploring how arts and culture can best serve the interests of residents and stakeholders, better ways to support the city’s significant investment in cultural facilities, and how Hackensack’s business district can compete for visitors in an area with a lot of competition for cultural tourism.

The Business Alliance hired The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking to provide community coaching, a unique approach that will help Creative Team members build a plan and the capacity to oversee its implementation.  We expect to be working with the City from November 2014 through June 2015. 

The work includes:
·         Developing a Creative Team, which will build a holistic vision for better integrating arts and culture into the city’s fabric and develop the capacity to help guide implementation,
·         Preparing a market analysis to help the Creative Team make more informed decisions, and
·         Conducting public outreach to give Hackensack residents, businesspeople and other stakeholders good opportunities to influence the final plan.

Hackensack is the 15th community in the United States – and the fifth in New Jersey -- to get
The Perth Amboy, NJ, Creative Team develops a creative
placemaking plan. Image courtesy: Noelle Jimenez Zaleski
community coaching.  The program has not only led to feasible and sustainable plans, it also has proven to build new connections and social capital within communities – as well as shared and collaborative leadership for action. 

Community coaching has been supported in New Jersey by OurTown grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and in Louisiana by the state’s Office of Cultural Development.  It is available to any individual community within two hours of Newark, NJ and to groups of five or more communities elsewhere in the United States.  In New Jersey, NCCP is partnering with PlanSmart NJ to offer community coaching.

NCCP Executive Director Leonardo Vazquez will be speaking on community coaching November 14 at the upcoming National Assembly of State ArtsAgencies 2014 National Assembly.

We will report progress on these and other projects through our Facebook page, Twitter feed and the NCCP newsletter.

If you have any questions about community coaching, please contact Leonardo Vazquez at or 973-763-6352.