Thursday, June 15, 2017

New Jersey Creative Placemakers to conduct free crowdmapping workshop

By Leonardo Vazquez

Before you decide what you want to do in a community and where, it's important to know what and who you have available to work with.  Crowdmapping can help.

New Jersey Creative Placemakers, a new network for those working to make communities better through arts and local culture, will offer a free crowdmapping workshop in July 2017 as part of Together North Jersey's training series on creative placemaking.  The series is sponsored by North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority.

Crowdmapping in Queens, NY
The workshop is tentatively scheduled for July 14, 9 am to 2 pm, at North Jersey Transportation

Planning Authority's large conference room at One Newark Center in Newark, NJ.  It will be taught by NCCP Executive Director Leonardo Vazquez, who has taught similar workshops for the Municipal Art Society of New York and uses crowdmapping regularly in NCCP's consulting practice.

Anyone is welcome to participate, but seating is limited.  Registration is expected to open after June 20. To get updates on registration, please follow NCCP on Facebook or Twitter.

NCCP and partners to hold Creative Placemaking Leadership Summits and Knowledge Exchanges around United States

By Leonardo Vazquez

Couldn't make it to one of NCCP's Creative Placemaking Leadership Summits or Creative Placemaking Knowledge Exchanges?  No worries.  There might be one close to you in 2018.

Thanks for a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts Our Town program, NCCP and more than a dozen partners will hold gatherings on creative placemaking in Denver, CO; a major Southeastern city; Newark, NJ; and Charleston, WV.  We are also considering a convening in the Washington, DC area.

Since 2014, Leadership Summits and Knowledge Exchanges have brought together more than 700 people working to make communities better through arts and cultural activities.  The events, which were in Newark, brought in creative placemakers from around the United States, as well as from Canada, Ghana and Egypt.

In surveys after the events, the vast majority of participants said they enjoyed the events, learned a lot, got useful knowledge and made new connections.
A workshop at Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit
 in May in Newark, NJ

To bring the Leadership Summits and Knowledge Exchanges to the rest of the country, NCCP is working with a wide variety of partners.  These include representatives of SouthArts, Tamarack Foundation, Creative Startups, University of Denver, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, South Jersey Cultural Alliance, Noyes Museum of Art, and more than 10 state arts agencies.  These partners and more help develop the content of the events in their region.

Each Summit and Knowledge Exchange will be designed to serve residents, organizational leaders, civic leaders and public officials in their respective region.  The events bring in 150 to 250 participants -- large enough to grow a network, but not so large that they're overwhelming.

The Southeastern Leadership Summit and Knowledge Exchange, covering the region from North Carolina to Florida and west to Louisiana and Arkansas, will be held in March in a southeastern city to be determined.  The theme is also to be determined.

The Southwest/Rocky Mountain Summit and Exchange, serving an area from Texas to Arizona and up to Montana, will be April 6 and 7 at the University of Denver.  The theme will be Entrepreneurship, Arts and Equity. 

The Northeast Corridor Summit and Exchange, covering all the states along Amtrak's Northeast Corridor line, will be May 17 and 18 in Newark. The theme is to be determined.  The Northeast Corridor events have been supported by the American Planning Association New Jersey Chapter, Atlantic Health Systems Healing Arts Program, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Montclair State University, New Jersey Community Capital, New Jersey Institute of Technology,  New Jersey State Council on the Arts and Northern New Jersey Community Foundation.

The Appalachian Summit and Exchange, which will serve the Appalachian region from western New York south and southwest to northern Mississippi, will be held in June in Charleston, WV. The theme is TBA.

To get more updates on these events, sign up for NCCP's emails, or follow us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

To get involved with planning these events, or to be a sponsor or exhibitor, please contact Leonardo Vazquez by email or at 973-763-6352

Thursday, June 8, 2017

New Jersey Creative Placemakers offers Learning Tours of creative Jersey communities

By Leonardo Vazquez

A good and fun way to learn about creative placemaking is to see how it works in communities.

New Jersey Creative Placemakers is now offering Learning Tours of several New Jersey towns.  In these tours, you can learn how creative placemaking has enhanced the communities, get a chance to offer your ideas for more improvements, and enjoy time with other people who want to make places better through arts and cultural activities.

Meet Me in Morristown, a monthly arts event. After the tour,
stop by and enjoy the event.
The first Learning Tour will be in Morristown, NJ, on June 29, from 4:30 to 7.  Morristown, a longtime center for business and healthcare, has become a regional hub of arts and entertainment, and is perhaps the first municipality in New Jersey to require private developers to support public art.

Learn more or register for this Learning Tour.   This event is co-produced by The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking, Morris Arts and CORE Creative Placemaking.

Later in the year and into 2018, we'll tour Hackensack, Rahway, Valley Arts (Orange/West Orange), Hammonton, South Orange and Maplewood.  New Jersey Creative Placemakers works with partners in each of these communities to organize the tours.  If you would like to help organize a tour in your community, please contact Leonardo Vazquez by email or at 973-763-6352.

New Jersey Creative Placemakers is a new network for anyone who wants to make Jersey communities better through arts and culture. It is free to join and everyone is welcome.  Learn more about New Jersey Creative Placemakers.

New Jersey Creative Placemakers is made possible by the generous support of National Endowment for the Arts, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and New Jersey State Council on the Arts.  It is also supported through donations and tickets for network events.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Another successful Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

Thriving Together, the 2017 Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit, got rave reviews from participants. An overwhelming majority said they enjoyed the Summit, held May 5 in Newark, NJ, learned a lot or expanded their professional networks.

About 140 people attended the event, which focuses on the how to's of making communities better through arts and cultural activities.  Many were from the Northeast Corridor region (between Boston and Washington D.C.), but several came as far as California, Canada and Ghana.  They participated in a dozen workshops and peer exchange sessions exploring how to sustain creative placemaking initiatives, build stronger partnerships and promote social equity through the arts.

A collaboration exercise at the Leadership Summit.
All of the participants surveyed said they 'enjoyed the summit' and 'what I learned was useful to me.'

97% said they 'expanded their network.'

95% said they were 'satisfied with the quality of the instructors.'

92% said they were 'satisfied with the diversity of instructors.'

89% said they 'learned a lot at this summit.'

Participants in this workshop learned how to engage community
members through model building
"More! It was great!" said one respondent in their evaluation of the conference. Others said:
"I liked the variety of topics, specifically those related to social justice and equity," "This was a great learning experience -- lovely people and instructors bringing together such diverse knowledge." "Programs were impressive and presenters were professional and humble in their incredible accomplishments."

While all the reviews were positive, we will focus on several improvements for future Leadership Summits.  Among them: requiring that instructors leave more time for audience questions or open dialogue, having more staff to improve on site registration, and providing more information in the conference packets.

Couldn't make it to this year's Leadership Summit?  No worries.  You will have plenty to choose from in 2018.  With more than a dozen partners, NCCP is planning Creative Placemaking Leadership Summits in:

  • A major Southeastern city in March
  • Denver, CO in early April
  • Newark, NJ in May
  • Charleston, WV in June
  • The Washington DC area in early Fall.
To get more information about any upcoming Leadership Summit or other gathering or workshop, sign up for our emails,  or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Creative placemaking and Latino communities at APA national conference

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

The Latinos and Planning Division of the American Planning Association held several sessions at the American Planning Association's 2017 National Planning Conference.  NCCP Executive Director Leonardo Vazquez, a co-founder of the division, helped planners at these events learn more about the power of arts and culture to enhance communities.

The division held three sessions where participants could learn more about planning in Latino communities:  "Cultural Competency for Planners", "Professional Development Tips for Latino Planners" and a mobile workshop called "Latino Placemaking in Washington Heights."

In each of these, Leo shared how creative placemaking can help strengthen communities and empower residents, as well as engage people who are otherwise disconnected from public decision-making.

Thriving Together brings creative placemakers from US, Canada and Ghana together for Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

You might expect a conference focused on enhancing community and economic development through arts and culture to be a little different.  Would you expect to be building your visions for a community with children's toys and craft supplies?

That's what participants did in the "Urban Planners as Community Healers through Art-Making" workshop.  It was one of a dozen interactive workshops at Thriving Together, the third Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit.  It was held May 5 at New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, NJ.

It attracted more than 140 creative placemakers from around the United States, as well as Canada and Ghana.  The event attracted artists, cultural leaders, planners, grantmakers, public officials and more. They came to learn more about how to make creative placemaking more sustainable, build cross-sector partnerships and learn better ways to promote social equity.  "Urban Planners as Community Healers" was taught by James Rojas, a planner and artist known for creative community engagement.

Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit participants build in a workshop.

The conference also featured an after-lunch conversation "What's in the Paper?" that explored art-paper making and paper-based art as vehicles for helping traumatized people re-connect with their communities. The conversation featured Faith Bartley of People's Paper Co-op in Philadelphia and David Keefe of Frontline Arts in Branchburg. It was moderated by Newark Arts Council Executive Director Jeremy Johnson.

Leadership Summit participants play a game designed to promote communication and collaboration 
This year's event also included a reception, which was attended by about 50 people. The reception honored Donna Drewes, who as co-chair of Sustainable Jersey's Arts and Creative Culture Task Force, helped inspire dozens of municipalities in New Jersey to pursue creative placemaking.
The reception after the conference was a great way to relax and make new connections


Thursday, May 11, 2017

NCCP helps Queens residents learn creative placemaking

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

More than 40 residents of the Corona and Elmhurst neighborhoods of Queens, NY gathered in Aprilplacemakers, and help make their communities better through arts and cultural activities.
to learn to become creative

They were part of the Livable Neighborhoods Program, offered by the Municipal Art Society of New York.  In this workshop, led by Leonardo Vazquez, Executive Director of The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking, participants identified key issues they wanted to explore, identified partners to help them with those issues, and began developing strategies to address those issues.  The workshop was held April 29, 2017 at Italian Charities of America in Elmhurst, Queens.

They also learned to see their community as a creative placemaker would -- recognizing the array of places where creative and cultural activities happen now, and identifying potential sites for more creativity.  In teams of 4 to 6 people, they 'crowdmapped' large sections of their neighborhoods.

To help the new creative placemakers, NCCP and MAS created an 'outcomes' document that offers the participants recommendations for next steps that they can take

NCCP offers a variety of workshops that can be customized for many audiences.  To get more information, contact Leonardo Vazquez by email or at 973-763-6352.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Meet us at American Planning Association national conference

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

The American Planning Association is holding its National Planning Conference May 6 to May 9 in New York, and we'll be leading or participating in several sessions.  Meet with NCCP's Executive
Director Leonardo Vazquez at any of these sessions and events (or schedule another time to meet with him at the conference.)

Saturday, May 6

Leonardo Vazquez
10:45 am - noon:  Creative Placemaking from the Community Up

2:30 - 3:45 pm:  Cultural Competency in Planning. Leo will be leading a free-flowing conversation on how creative placemaking can help planners engage with and serve culturally diverse communities, and how planners can learn more about diverse communities through local arts and culture.

Sunday, May 7

1 - 2:15 pm: Professional Development Tips for Latino Planners. Leo will be leading a facilitated discussion to help planners of Latino/Hispanic heritage advance in their careers.

2:30 - 3:45 pm: Tactical Urbanism: People and Pavement

5 - 7:30 pm: Arts and Planning Interest Group/ArtPlace America Joint Event, Meeting and Reception

6:30 - 8:30 pm: APA NYMetro, New Jersey and Connecticut chapters Local Reception

Monday, May 8

8 am - noon: Exploring Latino Placemaking in Washington Heights. Leo will be co-leading a neighborhood walking tour, and exploring the role of arts and culture in placemaking in the community.

1 - 1:15 pm: Planning Healthy Cities Through Placemaking and Public Art

6 - 7:30 pm: Latinos and Planning Division Business Meeting

If you're not planning to be at any of these sessions or events, please feel free to contact Leo by email or at 973-763-6352 to meet with him at the conference

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Save the dates: New Jersey Creative Placemakers learning and social events

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

New Jersey Creative Placemakers, the new network for people who want to make Jersey communities better through arts and culture, is scheduling several learning and social activities in 2017.  Here's a sneak peek at what we're working on:

  • March 23, 10 am to noon:  Help shape the next Regional Plan for the New York City metropolitan area, then join us for lunch in downtown Newark, NJ. (Only 10 seats left). Learn more or register
  • Late April (tentative):  Book talk and social:  How to Do Creative Placemaking, a new work by the National Endowment for the Arts.  Late afternoon/evening, Hammonton, NJ
  • May 5, 8:30 to 4, Thriving Together, the next Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit and 4-7 pm, Reception honoring Donna Drewes, Newark, NJ  Learn more or register for the
    Summit or register for only the reception.
  • May 25, 4 to 7 pm:  (date confirmed, time tentative):  Learning Tour and social: Morristown, NJ.  Learn about the great creative placemaking work in Morristown and explore opportunity areas.  Then stay around for a social at a local bar or restaurant.
  • Early to mid June, on a Saturday morning:  Learning Tour and social:  Maplewood and South Orange, NJ 
  • Late July, late afternoon/evening: Learning Tour and social: Hackensack, NJ
  • September, on a Saturday: Learning Tour and social: Orange, NJ
Hackensack CAT Arts Walk, June 2016

To get regular updates on New Jersey Creative Placemaker learning events and social activities, subscribe. (Choose New Jersey Creative Placemakers and any other information updates from the list.)

New Jersey Creative Placemakers is a joint production of The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking and PlanSmart New Jersey.  It is made possible in part through the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.

NCCP will host a reception to honor Donna Drewes for her work in promoting creative placemaking
Source: Sustainable Jersey
through the Sustainable Jersey Arts and Creative Culture Task Force.  It will be May 5, from 4 to 7 pm, right after Thriving Together, the Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit, at New Jersey Institute of Technology.  Tickets are $30; Leadership Summit registrants get in free.

Through Donna's leadership, New Jersey municipalities now have more tools and incentives to pursue creative placemaking.  As Sustainable Jersey co-Director and co-Chair of it's Arts and Creative Culture Task Force, she helped develop several creative placemaking 'actions' that help towns get more points toward Sustainable Jersey Certification. Learn more about Sustainable Jersey actions.

Learn more or register for the reception.

Proceeds will be used to support programs of The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking and New Jersey Creative Placemakers (NJCP).  NJCP is a joint program of The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking and PlanSmart NJ.

Building your team can help you get more done, faster and better

In spring training, coaches help good baseball players form strong teams. Creative placemakers also win by forming strong teams. NCCP's team building workshops can help. Join us for Building Teams for Creative Placemaking in Morristown, NJ on March 20 or New York, NY on March 21.

Just as baseball teams rally with a strong fan base, creative placemakers do better with more public support. Building Public Support for Creative Placemaking helps you do that. It's also on March 20 in Morristown, after the Building Teams workshop.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Learn a great deal at the next Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit

We've just published an early list of workshops for Thriving Together, the next Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit. In just one day: 
  • 8 workshops explore how to engage diverse audiences in creative placemaking
  • 7 explore how artists can use their knowledge and skills to lead creative placemaking
  • 7 provide insights on choosing effective strategies
  • 7 discuss how to work more effectively with artists
  • 6 explore how to build sustainable relationships between universities and communities
  • 6 address other ways to grow or maintain high-performing partnerships
  • 5 offer tips on how to start creative placemaking efforts
  • 5 explore other ways to build social equity through creative placemaking
  • 5 address other ways to sustain creative placemaking
  • 4 explore how to deal with systemic oppression
  • 1 explores how to get more financial support for creative placemaking
  • 1 will help arts educators learn more about public art
  • 1 will help artists make stronger cases for legal work spaces
Plan ahead; think about going with others so you can catch up on any workshops you miss. Remember, ticket prices go up to $100 again March 6, then $150 by May 1.  Learn more or register.

Start spreading the news... NCCP's in New York

We're excited to be working with three great organizations this year in NYC:  Support Center/ Partnership in Philanthropy, Municipal Art Society of New York City, and the Regional Plan Association.
We're partnering with the Support Center to offer a half-day workshop on building teams for creative placemaking.  It will be March 21 at their offices in Lower Manhattan.
Last year, we had a great time doing crowdmapping workshops in five neighborhoods with MAS NYC (which means both Municipal Art Society of New York City in English and 'more NYC' in Spanish).  We're working with MAS again on crowdmapping and more focused creative placemaking in two neigbhorhoods.  It's part of MAS' Livable Neighborhoods Initiative.
Every generation or so since the 1920s, the Regional Plan Association creates an influential plan to guide development in the tri-state metropolitan area. RPA wants to incorporate more arts into the next Regional Plan.  We'll help them by bringing together creative placemakers in New Jersey to explore how arts and creative culture can support good planning -- and vice versa.  To join this event, stay tuned to our newsletter, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

New Jersey Creative Placemakers, a new community for creative placemaking

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

Being innovative can make you feel isolated.  It's great to have a community of peers who you can learn from, share ideas with, and talk to without having to explain everything.

Thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts, The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking and PlanSmart NJ are building a new network for anyone in New Jersey who works to make communities better through arts and culture.

New Jersey Creative Placemakers, launched last month at the New Jersey Planning will host events, conduct training sessions, provide resources, and do other things that will:

·         Encourage creative placemakers in New Jersey to support one another
·         Promote mutual (i.e., peer) learning
·         Lead to a clearing house of information for creative placemaking
·         Help members stay on the ‘cutting edge’ of creative placemaking practice
·         Influence civic leaders
·         Promote financial sustainability for creative placemaking in communities
·         Provide clear points of entry into the creative placemaking field in New Jersey
·         Help creative placemakers become invest in communities to sustain arts and creative placemaking.

New Jersey Creative Placemakers is managed by The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking and organized by a diverse team of leaders from a wide variety of organizations and agencies in New Jersey, including:

American Planning Association – New Jersey chapter, American Society of Landscape Architects – New Jersey chapter, Bergen County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs, CORE Creative Placemaking, Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey, Long Beach Township, Middlesex County Office of Culture and Heritage, Morris Arts, Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, Noyes Museum of Art at Stockton University, Rowan University Department of Theater and Dance

To join New Jersey Creative Placemakers, sign up here for updates.  Even if you already get the NCCP newsletter, please check off the New Jersey Creative Placemakers box. 

We are planning several events for 2017 in addition to the 2017 Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit.  We are also working on a website for the network. If you would like to help, please contact Leo Vazquez by email or at 973-763-6352

New Sustainable Jersey action rewards municipalities for policies that support the arts

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

New Jersey municipalities that write plans and regulations to help grow the arts in their communities can get rewarded with more points toward Sustainable Jersey certification.

Municipal Commitments to Support Arts and Creative Culture, a new Sustainable Jersey action, provides up to 25 points for Certification.  Nearly 75% of the state's 565 municipalities have or are pursuing certification because it brings more prestige and opportunities for more funding.

According to the action, New Jersey communities can get rewarded for such activities as:

  • Preparing a Master Plan element that "provides strategies to support the development of arts and other creative activity, or incorporates these strategies in other elements of the Master Plan."

  • Adopting land use ordinances "that explicitly promote artistic activities and expressions of culture. For example, a zoning ordinance could be adopted to allow the use of public spaces for arts and cultural activities, or for developers to provide public art on their properties."
  • Creating cultural districts or developing regulations "that promote and protect cultural and creative expression. Examples include an ordinance that allows the public display of temporary sidewalk art, street musicians or other forms of creative expression that might be regulated under municipal noise or nuisance provisions."
Municipal Commitments is one of five actions that reward communities in Jersey for creative placemaking.  Others focus on building creative teams, conducting creative asset inventories, engaging in creative placemaking projects, and preparing a comprehensive creative placemaking plan.

All of these actions were prepared by the Sustainable Jersey Arts and Creative Culture Task Force, which is co-chaired by The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking Executive Director Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

The Task Force will review the performance of all Arts and Creative Culture actions, and make significant improvements.  The Task Force will also provide training on all of the actions. If you would like to join the Task Force or would like to know about future trainings, please contact the Task Force manager, Winnie Fatton at (609) 771-2855 or by email at

Monday, January 30, 2017

Register by February 5 to get the lowest-priced tickets for Thriving Together -- the 2017 Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit

If you wait until May to register for Thriving Together, the 2017 Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit, you will probably pay $150.  But if you're one of the first 45 who register by February 5, each ticket is only $50.
Why wait? More than 9 out of 10 people who went to earlier Leadership Summits enjoyed them and got new knowledge or connections (and most likely both).  
Workshop at CPLS2016
How do you make creative placemaking last beyond a few projects? How do you build high-performing partnerships? How can creative placemakers more effectively promote social equity?
Explore these and more in NCCP’s annual gathering that gets to the “how to’s” of creative placemaking. The Leadership Summit offers you interactive workshops and other opportunities to build your skills and knowledge – as well as professional connections.
Unlike other conferences with an overwhelming number of sessions and people, the Leadership Summit brings together a few hundred creative placemakers to focus on a few key themes. At this event, the themes are:  Sustaining creative placemaking for the long term, growing strong partnerships, and building social equity.

The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking relaunches Certificate in Creative Placemaking Program in partnership with New Hampshire Institute of Art

By New Hampshire Institute of Art and The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking

The Certificate in Creative Placemaking is returning – starting August 2017.  The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking (NCCP) is now producing the unique 10-month program with the New Hampshire Institute of Art (NHIA).

This new and better program will include two short in-person sessions – called residencies – and connect students to a wider array of creative placemakers.

Creative Placemaking is a fast-growing field that integrates resources and ideas from urban planning, community development, the arts and design to help individuals and communities strategically shape their communities and environments to improve quality of life, economic opportunity, and the climate for creativity.

NHIA’s and NCCP’s new 10-month-long Certificate in Creative Placemaking program is one of the only programs of its kind in North America and the only hybrid online/low-residency program designed to allow busy professionals working in the fields of arts management, design, urban planning, economic development, community development, and government policy, to gain deep, practical knowledge from nationally recognized experts in the field of creative placemaking.

“We’re incredibly excited about this new program,” said NHIA President Kent Devereaux. “It capitalizes on the academic strengths of NHIA and our experience in delivering high-quality low-residency professional development and graduate level courses while leveraging NCCP’s broad network of contacts and expertise in the emerging field of creative placemaking.”

Students in the new Certificate in Creative Placemaking program, which starts in August, will have the opportunity to enroll in the program for either professional development or graduate course credit. Additionally, the program has been designed to allow students to:
  •          Come together for short 3-day and 2-day residencies at the beginning and end of the program and learn from a diverse pool of creative placemaking experts from around the United States;
  •          Complete the six modules comprising the Certificate curriculum (community development, economic development, financial analysis, building community capacity, site planning, and marketing) entirely online;
  •          Get coaching in collaborative leadership and culturally competent practice;
  •          Complete a creative placemaking plan, proposal, or analysis for a community of their choice;
  •          Join a professional community of creative placemakers and make connections with possible future colleagues, clients, or funders;
  •          Get discounted access to workshops, conferences, and other learning opportunities offered throughout the country by NCCP.

This program will benefit anyone committed to improving communities through arts and culture,” said Leonardo Vazquez, Executive Director of NCCP. “Civic artists can learn more about the inner workings of communities and local economies. Urban planners and public policy professionals will understand better how to engage and support the arts and artists.”

Individuals interested in learning more about the Certificate in Creative Placemaking program and possibly enrolling for the inaugural session in August 2017 should contact the program office at or visit

About Creative Placemaking
“Creative Placemaking” is a term coined in 2010 by Ann Markusen and Anne Gadwa Nicodemus to describe a range of creative activities designed to foster more creative, livable, economical viable, sustainable, and equitable communities. As they wrote:

“In creative placemaking, partners from public, private, nonprofit, and community sectors strategically shape the physical and social character of a neighborhood, town, tribe, city, or region around arts and cultural activities. Creative placemaking animates public and private spaces, rejuvenates structures and streetscapes, improves local business viability and public safety, and brings diverse people together to celebrate, inspire, and be inspired.

“In turn, these creative locales foster entrepreneurs and cultural industries that generate jobs and income, spin off new products and services, and attract and retain unrelated businesses and skilled workers. Together, creative placemaking’s livability and economic development outcomes have the potential to radically change the future of American towns and cities.”

About the National Consortium for Creative Placemaking
The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking (NCCP) is dedicated to building the capacity of artists, public officials, citizen activists, planners, researchers and everyone seeking to do high-quality creative placemaking. NCCP is led by a national steering committee that includes leaders from a wide variety of organizations in the fields in arts, community, and economic development.

The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking is managed by a four-person team led by Executive Director Leonardo Vazquez, a nationally award-winning urban planner. NCCP is based in Union, New Jersey. For more information visit:

About the New Hampshire Institute of Art
The New Hampshire Institute of Art (NHIA) is the oldest and largest non-profit arts institution in New Hampshire, founded in 1898 and today offering undergraduate (BFA, Dual Degree BFA/MAT), graduate (MFA, MAAE, MAT), and community education programs (Youth Arts, Pre-College, Community Education, and Professional Development) serving over 2,000 students annually on two campuses in Manchester and Sharon/Peterborough, New Hampshire.

NHIA is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). NHIA is also a member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD). For more information visit:

Monday, January 9, 2017

Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit 2017; Propose a workshop, take advantage of special early bird rates

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

Do you have special insights on how to sustain creative placemaking efforts beyond a few projects, how to build high-performing partnerships, or making communities more equitable and fair through the arts?

Propose a workshop for Thriving Together, the 2017 Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit. It will be May 5, 2017 in Newark, NJ.

Leadership Summits are interactive. Image: Leonardo Vazquez
Session proposals are due by January 25. Session organizers/instructors get a free ticket to the convening and a big discount on exhibit space.  Propose a workshop.

We're also offering a very special early bird price for the conference. The first 50 people who register by February 5 pay only $50. After February 5, the fee goes up monthly. If you wait until May to register, you would pay $150.

Why wait? If you enjoyed the Summit last year, you'll probably like it again. Even if you didn't go, you'll probably enjoy yourself. 98% of last year's participants did, according to our surveys.

Building the creative placemaking field: NCCP 2016 accomplishments and 2017 initiatives

The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking accomplished a lot in 2016 to help build the field of creative placemaking. We are planning to do even more in 2017

2016 accomplishments:
Yarn It project in Glassboro. Courtesy of Mary Salvante
  • Promoted and taught creative placemaking to arts organization leaders and public officials in Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia.
  • Helped nearly 300 people learn how creative placemaking can enhance social equity and public health through the Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit and Creative Placemaking Knowledge Exchange.
  • Also through the Knowledge Exchange, provided opportunities for innovative thinkers and researchers to share new ideas and success stories.
  • Boosted creative placemaking in Perth Amboy, NJ by helping the city win a statewide award for its creative placemaking plan.
  • Helped Glassboro, NJ and Hackensack, NJ adopt creative placemaking strategies to enhance their downtowns and build stronger connections among stakeholders.
  • Helped PlanSmart NJ win a two-year National Endowment of the Arts grant to build a creative placemaker community in New Jersey.
  • Provided Hackensack, NJ and Englewood, NJ free landscape architecture design services by teaching a studio class at Rutgers University.
  • Through our leadership in and partnerships with Sustainable Jersey, created incentives for more New Jersey communities to adopt policies that support the arts.
  • Started new partnerships for creative placemaking with more influential organizations, such as:  Atlantic Health System, Creative Start Ups, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Montclair State University, New Hampshire Institute of Art, New Jersey Community Capital, South Arts, Support Center of New York and New Jersey, University of Denver, Shelterforce, Next City and more than 10 state arts agencies.
  • Provided eight free webinars to help introduce creative placemakers to more useful issues and ideas.
  • Through the American Planning Association's PAS Memo series, published a creative placemaking guide for urban planners.
  • Helped several clients and potential clients make stronger arguments and pursue funding for creative placemaking.
  • Completed a fourth year of the Certificate in Creative Placemaking program.

For 2017:

Sharing ideas at the 2016 Creative Placemaking Leadership
Summit. Image: Leonardo Vazquez
  • Creative Placemaking Leadership Summits in the southeastern United States, Denver and West Virginia.
  • A Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit in Newark, NJ on May 5 that focuses on lasting creative placemaking, social equity and partnerships.
  • Creative Placemaking Knowledge Exchanges in the Southeast and Southwest.
  • A series of workshops in New Jersey and New York to help you develop your leadership skills, beginning in January with Building Teams and Public Support for Creative Placemaking.  The first one: Building Teams for Creative Placemaking, March 21 in New York City.
  • A new and improved Certificate in Creative Placemaking program.
  • A new NCCP membership program that will provide special benefits and additional resources for creative placemaking.
  • More, to be announced soon.