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.

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