Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Next Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit focuses on sustainability, social equity and partnerships

By Leonardo Vazquez

Thriving Together, the next Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit, will focus on how creative placemaking can improve quality of life for disadvantaged people, successful partnerships, and maintaining and growing creative placemaking over the long term.

The all-day event will be Friday, May 5, 2017, at New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, NJ. Registration and more information will be available in January.

Creative Placemaking Leadership Summits bring together people from many different fields -- arts, public affairs, urban planning, real estate development and more -- to explore ways to make communities better through arts and culture.  The Summit offers 'how-to' information through workshops, presentations, and other formats.  There is also plenty of time to build your network of creative placemakers.

The 2016 Leadership Summit attracted 150 people and got strong reviews from participants.

  • 98% said that they enjoyed the summit
  • 91% said they were satisfied with the quality of the speakers
  • 89% said that the workshops and peer learning experiences were useful to them
  • 80% said they learned a lot, and 55% said they learned more than they expected to
  • 75% said that there was a good mix of learning experiences

Here are some thoughts from last year's attendees on the Leadership Summit
  • "The Summit generated a lot of energy and consisted of big, thoughtful discussions
  • It was great being with like-minded people from around the country and in a location which has experienced a lot of neglect but now is rising to the surface in a positive way
  • Great networking and learning opportunity
  • A bit different than the usual conference, with more time for discussion, networking and creative thought
  • For people involved in the arts and community development, the program focused specifically on their needs
  • Useful discussions and perspectives for those interested in the intersection of arts/culture and community development
  • Great, current, relevant conversations.  
  • I told colleagues that the sessions were helpful to a broad range of professions.
  • High quality and well thought out event; worth your while
  • Small conference with good content and a great chance to network with colleagues on the East Coast.
  • I told them that I found out about some interesting metrics for 'gold' for the arts
  • I raved about it.
  • It was really inspiring
  • The sessions were inspiring and helped solidify some organizational ideas.
  • I encouraged colleagues to attend... and would definitely do so again.
  • That it's very informative and educational, especially if they are new to or just beginning creative placemaking."

To get updates on the conference, join the NCCP mailing list

January workshops can help you get more public support for creative placemaking

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

We often talk about creative placemaking in terms of how arts and culture affects a place.  But the key to making it work is getting the right people together and building public support. NCCP's January workshops can help you do that.

Building teams and public support for creative placemaking is for anyone who would like to lead efforts to address social and economic issues in their communities through arts and culture.


We'll share our insights from a decade and a half of building successful teams and engaging stakeholders around planning issues.  This will not be the usual 'how-to' workshop.  We'll explore why some teams succeed, while others fail; what kinds of community engagement can work best given your community's circumstances; and how creativity and culture can play big roles in your success.

By the end of this workshop, participants will:

  • Know the indicators of both successful and troubled teams -- and how to respond
  • Be able to make better choices for engaging communities
  • Learn how creative and cultural activities can help build teams and engage stakeholders in community improvement. 

Check out the agenda:
  1. Welcome and introductions
  2. Why teams succeed - and fail
  3. Building a team for creative placemaking
  4. Troubleshooting common team problems
  5. Lunch (provided)
  6. Why so many community meetings fail
  7. Creative community engagement methods
  8. Choosing the best strategies; measuring success

Please don't wait to register. The first 10 people to register get a 50% discount.  Use discount code: CP50.  The next 10 get 25% off. Use discount code: CP25

Questions: Please contact the instructor, Leonardo Vazquez, at leo@artsbuildcommunities.com or 973-763-6352.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Creative Glassboro team produces vision plan for creative placemaking

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

Glassboro, NJ, home of Rowan University, is a fast-growing town on the outskirts of the Philadelphia region.  It's a culturally diverse post-industrial mix of college town and exurb that had recently been the center of a largely rural county.  There's been a lot of 'eds and meds' development (that is, university and hospital). How does Glassboro welcome newcomers -- and longtimers who might have felt left out -- while preserving its distinct heritages and stories?

Creative Glassboro is exploring this question and more through its new Vision Plan and tactical urbanism projects. You can learn more about the plan here or join the team for a community celebration:  December 6, 5:30 to 7:30 pm, Rowan University Art Gallery, 301 High Street West, Glassboro.

Creative Glassboro began in 2015 with community visioning. Credit: Creative Glassboro
The Vision Plan calls for growing a more inclusive and greener Glassboro that honors its diverse heritages through arts and cultural activities.  The team is now involved in its first major project from the plan:  yarnbombing and intergenerational knitting activities.

To create the Vision Plan, Creative Glassboro engaged in Community Coaching, an NCCP program that has built creative placemaking plans and leadership teams in 16 communities in Louisiana and New Jersey. You can learn more about Community Coaching at an upcoming information session. 

For more information on Community Coaching, please contact Leonardo Vazquez, Executive Director, The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking by email or at 973-763-6352.



Tuesday, November 29, 2016

2016 Knowledge Exchange worth the trip for creative placemakers

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

As Executive Director of The Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, which supports free outdoor music around the United States, Sharon Yazowski is a busy person.  But even though she was speaking on stage for only seven minutes, it was worth her time to travel five hours from Los Angeles to Newark, NJ for the Creative Placemaking Knowledge Exchange.

“This was my first time participating in CPKE and I found it extremely valuable—the formats for sharing outcomes, experiences, and insights were conducive to maximizing the collective knowledge of attendees.  It was wonderful to connect with others in the field and learn about their impactful work, while also having fluid discussions throughout the day about the challenges many of us are trying to address through our creative placemaking efforts.”

Newark Museum's Steven Kern speaking
Ms. Yazowski wasn't the only long-distance traveler to The Art of Healthy Communities: the second annual Creative Placemaking Knowledge Exchange,  Among the 125 people who attended the November 11 event were visitors from throughout the US and as far away as Canada and Australia.

The event, produced by The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking and PlanSmart NJ, at the New Jersey Institute of Technology featured talks and community conversations on six topics in creative placemaking.

Many of them touched on the key theme of creative placemaking and public health. After lunch, participants learned about Voices of Valora music that serves veterans with PTSD, and heard songs composed by vets and musicians.  Brian F. Dallow, the Executive Director of Music for All Seasons, which created Voices of Valor, was the lunchtime speaker.  In the afternoon, participants led conversations on topics that they offered and selected themselves.

"I very much enjoyed the Knowledge Exchange and thought it was worth traveling for," said Clay Frickey, a City Planner for the City of Fort Collins, CO.  Mr. Frickey was also a presenter. "It is really nice seeing what other municipalities are up against and the Knowledge Exchange is a great way to make connections to discuss these issues."

Other participants enjoyed it too. A participant satisfaction survey shows:

  • 99% said the conference was informative.
  • 95% said they enjoyed the conference.
  • 92% said they would attend the Knowledge Exchange again.
  • 88% said the Knowledge Exchange was as good as or better than other academic or 'big idea' conferences they have attended.
  • 86% said there was enough time for networking.
  • 83% said they would recommend the Knowledge Exchange to others.
  • 83% said there was enough time for conversations.
  • Everyone who participated in Open Space conversations found them informative and enjoyable.*

"I was truly inspired by the conversations and presentations and am looking forward to expanding my network through the new contacts that I met and conversations that I started," said Melanie Stewart, Associate Dean and Professor of Theatre and Dance at Rowan University's College of Performing Arts. She also co-chairs Creative Glassboro (NJ).

"I was especially impressed by the international interest and concern for healing communities especially now in a context where we really need to come together as a country.  I hope that our work will have real impact in achieving a healthier path forward."

The morning presentations covered these topics:
  • Community building
  • Research, evaluation and outcomes
  • Healthy aging
  • Youth health and engagement
  • Dance, performance and community
  • Healthy creative partnerships
Knowledge Exchange participants are encouraged to share their
insights and experiences
Each presenter spoke for seven minutes, and there was about a half-hour of peer exchange conversation.  Participants asked questions or spoke about their own experiences, adding their insights to those of the formal presenters.

In the Open Space portion of the convening, eventgoers talked about such things as community engagement, creative placemaking and community development during the Trump administration, language in and as space, gentrification, and how to maintain the knowledge sharing after the event.

"My favorite component of the event was the open sessions at the end," Mr. Frickey said. "While mine was the least explicitly 'placemaking' focused conversation, we had a nice discussion with divergent opinions that have stuck with me since the Knowledge Exchange.  It's always nice talking with people about things they are passionate about in a less structured format."

The 2016 Knowledge Exchange was sponsored by New Jersey Health Initiatives, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation,  Atlantic Health System, American Planning Association New Jersey chapter, Montclair State University, and Shelterforce magazine.  ArtPride NJ, South Jersey Cultural Alliance and the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation partnered in promoting the event.  Additional support came from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts Our Town program. 

NCCP will hold its next conference -- the Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit -- on May 5, 2017 at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, NJ.  To get updates on the Leadership Summit, join the NCCP mailing list.

Participants choose what they want to talk about in the Open Space portion
of the Creative Placemaking Knowledge Exchange


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*24 respondents completed the survey.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Great reasons to go to The Art of Healthy Communities: the 2nd annual Creative Placemaking Knowledge Exchange

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP


We know you're busy.  We know you have a lot of choices for events this fall. But here are 11 reasons why it's worth it to attend the Creative Placemaking Knowledge Exchange, November 11, in Newark, NJ.


  • Get useful, practical knowledge.  You can get insights from expert practitioners and scholars on six key topics: community building; research, evaluation and outcomes; healthy aging; youth health and engagement; dance, performance and community; and healthy creative partnerships.  Speakers are coming from around the United States, as well as Canada and Australia, to share their knowledge.  By the way, the people attending are very smart too.  You can learn a lot from them.
  • Make great connections.  The Knowledge Exchange is attracting senior leaders and key influencers from the fields of grantmaking, community and economic development, public health, urban development, arts, and more. You'll probably meet someone who can help you in your work or your career. See who else is going to the Knowledge Exchange.
  • Plenty of time for networking. We know that conferences are not just for learning.  So we are providing plenty of breaks and long lunch so you have time to build your connections.  Bring plenty of business cards.
  • Explore your own ideas.  Do you prefer those conferences with talking heads talking endlessly?  Neither do we. That's why every presentation is no more than seven minutes long, and each topic includes 30 minutes of conversation between audience members and presenters. In the afternoon Open Space sessions, you can lead group discussions on topics you choose. These are good ways to get feedback on some of your ideas.
  • Learn about a great program for veterans with PTSD. In honor of Veterans Day, learn about Voices of Valor, a program that helps vets heal through music and songwriting. You'll also hear some of the songs composed by the vets.
     
  • Learn how creative placemaking can help build healthier communities. You probably know how the arts can make places more enjoyable. But the arts have even more power, and creative placemakers can guide that energy to improve the mental and physical health of residents.  Learn how from presenters and other attendees.
  • Planners: get continuing education credit.  The Knowledge Exchange has been approved for six AICP Certification Maintenance credits.
  • It's a good value.  If this were a television commercial, this would be the 'But wait' moment. The Knowledge Exchange is a good value at $150.  But as an NCCP subscriber, you get 25% off.  Your ticket is only $112.50.  Use discount code: NCCP10

    But wait! If you're a friend of any NCCP board member, or a member of any of these groups, you get even bigger discounts:  ArtPride New Jersey, Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey, Newark Arts Council, American Planning Association New Jersey chapter.

    If you're a retiree, a solo artist, or are part of a small community-based organization (with the less than 3 employees), we have a limited number of seats for $50 each. Use the discount code: community.   Please: If you or your organization can afford to pay more, please leave these community seats for someone else.
  • You're helping a good cause.  100% of the proceeds from the Knowledge Exchange will go to support The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking.  This will help us support your work with free and low-cost learning events, and advocating for creative placemakers throughout the United States.
  • Enjoy yourself at the event. There's dancing, art and food.  Seriously. In one session, everyone will be invited to join in a dance.  There will be an art exhibit (including interactive art) at the conference from 12 to 7 pm. You'll get breakfast and lunch, and snacks for the after-conference art exhibit.  You can relax and enjoy yourself while you're learning.
     
  • Enjoy yourself afterward.  Newark is only 20 minutes by train from New York City. Newark itself is a good place to explore: great Portuguese, Brazilian and Spanish food in the Ironbound neighborhood.  Want to see an emerging arts district? Check out the Halsey Street area near the school.  And if you're a Springsteen fan, take the train down to Asbury Park and visit one of the coolest towns in New Jersey. 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Crowdmapping: A great way to discover spaces and rediscover places

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP,

When it comes to creativity in communities, there's a lot more there there.

But too many people overlook the spots where creativity happens -- restaurants, hair salons, a tiny tucked away dance school.  Too many ignore or don't see the potential of vacant spaces and blank walls.

Crowdmapping can help people see assets and possibilities.  In crowdmapping, people collaborate to create maps. They might map existing activities, suggest spaces for new activities, identify problems, or all three.  If led well, it can be an inspiring and fun social event that empowers people to design their communities. And it's an important tool for creative placemaking. NCCP used crowdmapping to help build the award-winning Creative Perth Amboy plan. 

You can learn to lead crowdmapping that helps you build good plans at our upcoming workshop:  Identifying and Mapping Creative Assets, October 18, 2016 in Burlington, NJ.  You will practice crowdmapping (bring comfortable shoes) and learn:


  • What to look for when looking for creative or cultural activities, or spaces for them to happen
  • How to 'connect the dots' to outline districts and paths
  • Ways to strategically engage people in conversations about place that go beyond what's on the ground
  • About free and low-cost online tools to do crowdmapping
Through a partnership with the American Planning Association New Jersey chapter, this workshop will be submitted for up to 6 AICP Certification Maintenance credits.

As an NCCP reader, you can get 25% off registration fees:  Use discount code NCCP10.  Member of Creative Teams that have been coached by NCCP get half-price seats.  But please know that there are only about 20 seats left for the workshop.





Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Exciting, diverse lineup of sessions in The Art of Healthy Communities

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

You can now see who's speaking at The Art of Healthy Communities: the second annual Creative Placemaking Knowledge Exchange, November 11 in Newark, NJ, We hope you'll agree it is a diverse and exciting line up.

There will be up to 24 presentations on six topics:

  • Community building
  • Research, evaluation and outcomes
  • Healthy aging
  • Youth health and engagement
  • Dance, performance and community
  • Healthy creative partnerships
Creative placemakers from as far as Australia, Canada, California and Colorado will be there, giving short presentations on innovative practices or new research and thinking in the Creative Placemaking field.

You can talk too.  Each topic features a facilitated roundtable-style conversation among participants and speakers.  In fact, the whole day is about having intelligent conversations on how creative placemaking impacts public health.

After lunch, we'll do two Open Space conversations, which let you pick the topics you want to talk about.

This event will be submitted for up to six AICP Certification Maintenance credits.

Registration is open.  You can get discounted registration if you register by October 10.

Learn more or register: http://www.artsbuildcommunities.com/events/cpexchange16/

The Art of Healthy Communities is sponsored by New Jersey Health Initiatives, Atlantic Health System, and National Housing Institute/Shelterforce magazine.  It is made possible with the generous support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts Our Town program, and New Jersey State Council on the Arts.






Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Workshop will help promote creative placemaking in South Jersey

By Leonardo Vazquez

South Jersey creative placemakers are doing interesting and important work in places like Atlantic City, Camden, Glassboro, Hammonton and Woodbury.  But there could and should be more creative placemaking in the region.

The South Jersey Cultural Alliance is working with The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking to do a workshop that introduces creative placemaking to arts, history and public affairs leaders in the region.  It will be December 8, 2016, 9 am to 2 pm, at the OceanFirst Bank Training Center in Toms River, NJ

Creative placemaking is a new way to improve quality of life and economic opportunities in communities through arts and culture. Participants will learn from the successes of other South Jersey creative placemakers and explore strategies for their own communities.

The workshop date and agenda will be announced soon. It will be designed for artists, arts administrators, culture and history professionals and public officials in South Jersey, Central Jersey and the Jersey Shore.

This workshop is made possible with support from the OceanFirst Foundation.  Partners include the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation, Ocean County Cultural and Heritage Commission, New Jersey Historical Commission, Sustainable Jersey and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

For more information, or to get updates, please contact Karen Pinzolo, Executive Director, South Jersey Cultural Alliance by email.

Creative Placemaking Knowledge Exchange to feature art exhibit on place and healing

By Leonardo Vazquez


An exhibit of art works on health and community will be part of The Art of Healthy Communities, the second annual Creative Placemaking Knowledge Exchange, November 11 in Newark, NJ.

Up to 20 artists will display and sell their work. The exhibit will be part of the conference from 12 to 4 pm; it will be open to the public from 4 to 7 pm.

Any visual artist is welcome to apply to be part of the exhibit.   The Call for Artists closes on October 14.  To apply to be part of the exhibit, please follow the links for the Art Exhibit on the conference website.

There is no charge to apply, and participating artists will get free entry into the event.

The guest curator is Stephanie O'Connor, artist and owner of The Artistic Giraffe Studio Gallery in Hackensack, NJ.

Monday, August 22, 2016

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

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PPleo@artsbuildcommunities.com

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 creativeglassboro.com

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 leo@artsbuildcommunities.com  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 leo@artsbuildcommunities.com  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
SETS
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.
TO APPLY
Applicants should electronically submit two songs/samples in mp3 format, bio, and link to website if applicable, to theartisticgiraffe@gmail.com
by WEDNESDAY, JULY 6, 2016. Please indicate genre. 5 musicians/music groups will be selected.

For artists
LOCATION AND SPACE
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.
TO 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 theartisticgiraffe@gmail.com by WEDNESDAY, JULY 6, 2016. All work must be original. Content should be family appropriate. 24 artists will be selected.
CONTACT
Any questions, please contact Stephanie O'Connor at theartisticgiraffe@gmail.com.
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ABOUT THE HACKENSACK CREATIVE ARTS TEAM
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.
  
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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Thinking of pursuing an NEA Our Town grant? We can help.

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

A National Endowment for the Arts Our Town grant is one of the most prestigious -- and difficult -- to get in the field of creative placemaking.  NCCP's work has been funded by three Our Town grants since 2012.  Proposals are due September 12, 2016.

The Our Town program has helped support our Community Coaching work in Long Beach Island and Perth Amboy, New Jersey, and is funding efforts to build a community of creative placemakers in New Jersey. Executive Director Leonardo Vazquez has also been a reviewer in the program.

If you agree to include NCCP as a paid partner or consultant in your proposal, we will help you strategize your program and your proposal.  There would be no charge for up to three hours of advice or proposal edits. Beyond that, we would ask for a small fee to cover our time.

US Representative Frank Pallone (standing) reviews the Creative Perth Amboy (NJ) plan at the 2016 Waterfront Festival.  The plan was funded in part by an NEA Our Town Grant and was developed through NCCP's Community Coaching.  The Festival, Perth Amboy Arts Council and a law allowing outdoor murals were some of the successes of the Coaching process. This plan won the  2016 Outstanding Plan-Municipal Award from the American Planning Association New Jersey Chapter.  Kneeling in the foreground is Arts Council Chair Greg Bender.  Image courtesy: Caroline Pozycki Torres.


To learn more about Community Coaching, please join the next information session. In addition to Community Coaching, we can help you with a wide range of services, including:

  • Public engagement
  • Leadership development and team building
  • Land use analysis and planning
  • Creative asset inventory
  • Training 

Of course, we can not guarantee any outcome.  Also, we will NOT lobby NEA staff either directly or indirectly, nor attempt to influence Our Town reviewers while they are examining grant proposals.

If you would like to learn more, please contact Leonardo Vazquez by email or at 973-763-6352  

Monday, May 23, 2016

Repurposing stranded assets for arts and artists


By Leonardo Vazquez, Executive Director, The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking

Preface: PlanSmart NJ, an NCCP partner, is exploring how to reuse vacant suburban office parks and retail centers at its Regional Planning Summit on June 7, 2016.  Here are some thoughts on how these spaces can be revitalized through creative placemaking.

Fifty years ago, central cities with industrial spaces were facing their own challenges with stranded assets.  Manufacturers and warehousing companies were leaving urban centers to move to new suburban spaces around the region (or elsewhere in the country.)

In some neighborhoods, like downtown Manhattan south of Houston Street, the spaces weren’t empty for long.  Painters and sculptors enjoyed the big industrial windows that let in a lot of light, the high ceilings, and the open floor plans.  Musicians, dancers and other performers could practice their craft in buildings that were strong enough to handle noise and vibrations.  They had the room to live and work in the same space, which were often affordable because back then most people who weren’t artists didn’t want to live in or a near an old warehouse. By 1973, that part of downtown Manhattan became SoHo, and the ‘loft’ spaces that artists pioneered are highly desirable real estate.

Today’s suburban office parks and vacant retail spaces can be just as useful to working artists.  Many office park buildings offer spaces with large open floor plans that can be easily subdivided for individual artists, conference rooms that could be used for collaborative work, plenty of electrical power and high speed internet capacity, and room in the lobbies and in outdoor spaces for exhibitions and performances. 

While some suburban office parks around the United States are getting wholesale conversions into
Vacant office building in Colorado. 
mixed-use spaces, using all or part of an office park for artists’ spaces is relatively new. In 2015, the nonprofit Artomatic held a six-week exhibit of visual art, music, performances and films at 8100 Corporate Drive, a Hyattsville, Maryland office park.  More events like Artomatic could help create a proof of concept to show that artists and their patrons would use these spaces.

Turning suburban office parks into spaces that provide housing, retail and businesses – essentially creating mini-districts or new neighborhoods can be relatively expensive and carries enhanced risk.  Providing low-cost space – and surplus furniture and equipment -- to artists, makers, and small entrepreneurs could be a faster, less expensive and less risky approach to repurposing a property.

In many cities, owners of vacant retail spaces allow artists and entrepreneurs to create pop-up stores.  The stores may last for a month or a season. Many owners who allow pop-ups see this as a way to generate some income and interest potential long-term tenants in the spaces.  In some cases, such as in Chelsea Food Market, some spaces are permanent pop-ups.  The vendors change, but the space remains for temporary uses.  (Often these uses are for clothing, jewelry, artwork, or other commercial uses that do not require the installation of new equipment or the creation of new interior spaces. Individual merchants can separate themselves with divider spaces, temporary walls, or just by spacing themselves apart from one another. This low-cost, low-risk approach allows a property owner to offer new and different experiences that can bring back shoppers.

The biggest challenges for owners of suburban stranded assets are visibility and consumer concept. In busy urban areas, many people might pass by a building on foot and can be drawn in by clever signage, an interesting fa├žade, and what they can see through the windows. It takes very little time for someone to step into a building directly from the street. Tourists and other visitors tend to be open to the surprise of going into a converted bank or warehouse.

For the most part, suburban office parks and suburban shopping centers are designed for people who already know they want to go there.  A person driving near a steel-and-glass office park that is set far back from the street is unlikely to stop there to see ‘what is going on.’  Suburban malls tend to hide their activities from the street behind solid concrete walls and seas of parking spaces.
To increase visibility, property owners should consider working with artists to develop highly visible displays of arts – such as murals, gardens as well as outdoor art exhibits and performances.  To help change what consumers and potential lessees think of suburban office parks and malls, host a wide variety of events.  One event may not quickly change many minds, but many events can get more people to think more creatively about these spaces.


The NationalConsortium for Creative Placemaking, based in Union, NJ, works to build capacity, community and connections for better creative placemaking in the United States.  NCCP partners with PlanSmart on building the field of creative placemaking in New Jersey.

Image: By Xnatedawgx (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or FAL], via Wikimedia Commons

Learn how Community Coaching can help you do better creative placemaking

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

Community Coaching is a proven way to build high-quality creative placemaking plans and the stewards to help implement them.  You can learn more about this unique approach to community planning and team building this week at an online information session or an exhibition of a successful Creative Placemaking plan.

On Tuesday, May 24, 1 pm eastern, NCCP will host an online information session on Community Coaching.  On Thursday, May 26, from 6 to 8, the Perth Amboy (NJ) Arts Council will hold a special reception and exhibit of Creative Perth Amboy, their award-winning creative placemaking plan developed through Community Coaching.   If you can't participate in either of these events, there will be another information session on June 23.

Community coaching in Perth Amboy, NJ. Image by Noelle Zaleski
Community Coaching, which was created by The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking, brings together a diverse group of community stakeholders for six to nine months to develop a creative placemaking plan and a team to help guide its implementation.  The group is paired with a Community Coach, who meets with the members regularly to help them develop their vision, clarify their values, select and prioritize strategies, and determine how best to organize to guide its implementation.  The group also explores social, cultural and economic challenges to achieving the goals of the plan.

Sixteen communities in Louisiana and New Jersey have participated in Community Coaching, and have implemented significant portions of their plans.  In 2016, the City of Perth Amboy received the statewide Outstanding Plan - Municipal award from the American Planning Association New Jersey chapter.  The program is available throughout the United States.

Not only does the process lead to plans and leadership teams, it also helps participants understand better the various roles that arts and artists can play in enhancing communities, nurture new partnerships, and build the confidence of team members in their leadership skills and capacity to produce lasting impacts.

Questions?  Please feel free to contact NCCP Executive Director Leonardo Vazquez at 973-763-6352 or by email.

Monday, May 16, 2016

NEA grant will help NCCP, PlanSmart NJ and partners build creative placemaker community in New Jersey

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

The National Endowment for the Arts Our Town program has approved PlanSmart NJ and The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking for a two-year, $50,000 grant to help build the field of creative placemaking in New Jersey.  The grant, announced in May, was awarded to advance this growing practice.

This grant will help grow several strategies to build a supportive, learning community among people who work to make places better through arts and cultural activity.

Funding will support convenings that bring together hundreds of people, such as the Creative
Community building at the 2016 Creative Placemaking
Leadership Summit
Placemaking Leadership Summit
, the Creative Placemaking Knowledge Exchange and Creative Team Roundtables; thought leadership to build a more welcoming climate for arts and creativity; and Community Coaching.  Each community that completes Community Coaching will receive an extra 10 hours of technical assistance per year, thanks to the grant.  PlanSmart NJ and NCCP will create a community advisory board of partners and representatives of Community Coaching teams to enhance the impact of the upcoming work.

Through research, policy briefings and guides, PlanSmart NJ influences leaders and policymakers in New Jersey to make wiser decisions around land use and sustainable development.  The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking (NCCP) works to build capacity, connections and community among creative placemakers throughout the United States. NCCP organizes interesting, informative and useful convenings; designed and leads the Certification in Creative Placemaking program at The Ohio State University; conducts webinars and workshops; designed and conducts the Community Coaching program; conducts research on the creative economy; and influences leaders from the neighborhood to the national level. 

PlanSmart and NCCP have worked together on several projects.  Among them were the development of the creative placemaking research and strategies in the award-winning Together North Jersey initiative.


To learn more about how this grant can help your community, please contact NCCP Executive Director Leonardo Vazquez by email or at 973-763-6352.

PlanSmart NJ Executive Director Ann Brady contributed to this report.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Community coaching to become available around the United States

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

NCCP's award-winning Community Coaching program will soon be available to communities throughout the continental United States.  Community Coaching helps towns, cities, counties and regions build doable and lasting strategies for creative placemaking -- and a team of stewards to help turn ideas into reality.

Community Coaching is a 6 - 9 month program that brings together diverse people from a community
-- including elected officials and working artists -- and helps them build the skills to do and lead creative placemaking.  It is designed to do more and have more impact than traditional consulting.

Sixteen communities in Louisiana and New Jersey have engaged in Community Coaching.  This year, the City of Perth Amboy, New Jersey won the Outstanding Plan - Municipal award from the American Planning Association New Jersey chapter.  Through Community Coaching, Perth Amboy changed ordinances to be more welcoming to arts and creativity, developed an arts council, and created a new event to promote arts and sustainability.

Before, we could only offer Community Coaching within 2 hours of Newark, NJ (or in the case of Louisiana, when there were more than 5 communities in a state that wanted Community Coaching at the same time. We now have other service models that allow us to serve individual communities around the continental United States.

Community coaching will be available to communities more than 2 hours from Newark beginning in September 2016.

To learn more, please join us at the next information session on May 24 at 1 pm eastern Learn more or register






Monday, April 18, 2016

Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit 2016 a success

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

Survey results are in, and show that the vast majority of people who attenCreative Placemaking Leadership Summit 2016 enjoyed the event, learned a lot, and found it useful.

About 150 people attended the daylong conference, which was held March 18 at Rutgers-Newark in
Newark, New Jersey. Participants included elected officials, developers, grantmakers, arts administrators, urban planners, economic development professionals, and artists from as far away as Massachusets, Ohio and South Carolina.

This year's Summit focused on the various meanings of the word 'equity'. There was a panel discussion about creative placemaking in Newark; Jamie Bennett from ArtPlace America and Sharnita C. Johnson (left) from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation explored equity from a grantmaking perspective; and participants could choose from among eight workshops.  The workshops explored a variety of topics, including an overview of creative placemaking, leadership skills, market analysis and real estate development, and social equity.

In an online survey, participants were asked in various ways about their experiences with the Summit. 55 people responded.
  • 98% said that they enjoyed the summit
  • 91% said they were satisfied with the quality of the speakers
  • 89% said that the workshops and peer learning experiences were useful to them
  • 80% said they learned a lot, and 55% said they learned more than they expected to
  • 75% said that there was a good mix of learning experiences

We also asked respondents "What did or would you tell your colleagues about the Leadership Summit?"  Here are some of the responses:

  • "The Summit generated a lot of energy and consisted of big, thoughtful discussions
  • It was great being with like-minded people from around the country and in a location which has experienced a lot of neglect but now is rising to the surface in a positive way
  • Great networking and learning opportunity
  • A bit different than the usual conference, with more time for discussion, networking and creative thought
  • For people involved in the arts and community development, the program focused specifically on their needs
  • Useful discussions and perspectives for those interested in the intersection of arts/culture and community development
  • Great, current, relevant conversations.  
  • I told colleagues that the sessions were helpful to a broad range of professions.
  • High quality and well thought out event; worth your while
  • Small conference with good content and a great chance to network with colleagues on the East Coast.
  • I told them that I found out about some interesting metrics for 'gold' for the arts
  • I raved about it.
  • It was really inspiring
  • The sessions were inspiring and helped solidify some organizational ideas.
  • I encouraged colleagues to attend... and would definitely do so again.
  • That it's very informative and educational, especially if they are new to or just beginning creative placemaking."

The next Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit is being planned for spring 2017.  Keep me updated on the Summit and on NCCP. 

All images courtesy of Jeremiah Cox.


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

NCCP conducting creative placemaking workshops in NYC for Municipal Art Society

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking is working with the Municipal Art Society of New York to conduct workshops in creative placemaking in five neighborhoods in the city.

Beginning April 9, NCCP will lead workshops that help neighborhood residents learn about creative placemaking and how to map opportunity sites for murals, public art and arts activities. The mapping exercise is important for developing future creative placemaking plans.  They are part of the Municipal Art Society's Livable Neighborhoods Program.  The program is in partnership with the New York City Department of Small Business Services.

The workshops are between two and four hours, and are being hosted by community-based organizations. The workshops are open to residents, merchants, organizational representatives and other stakeholders.

Two workshops were held in Flushing, Queens and Red Hook, Brooklyn.  Together, they attracted about 35 people:

The next workshops will be held in:
  • Port Richmond, Staten Island. Wednesday, April 20, 6:30 to 8:30 pm. At Port Richmond High School. For more information, contact:  Kathleen Bielsa, northfield.ldc@gmail.com
  • Bedford Park, The Bronx. Saturday, April 23, 12-4 pm.   Location TBD.  For more information, contact: Samelys Lopez, ltpcrevents@gmail.com

NCCP offers a number of workshops, presentations and other learning experiences in a wide variety of topics in creative placemaking.  Among them are:
  • Basics of creative placemaking
  • Financing for creative placemaking
  • Mapping community assets and opportunities
  • Building sustainable teams
  • Determining how arts-friendly your community is
We have recently conducted creative placemaking workshops and other learning experiences for the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, Kentucky Arts Council, Delaware Division of the Arts, Purdue University Honors College and more.  We can customize any learning experience to fit your audience, situation and budget.  For more information, please contact Executive Director Leonardo Vazquez at leo@artsbuildcommunities.com or 973-763-6352.