Monday, October 16, 2017

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

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

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

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

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



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



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

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

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

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

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

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

Thursday, October 12, 2017

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

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

NCCP welcomes new Program Coordinator

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

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

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

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

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

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

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

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

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Help communities and expand your creative placemaking skills through Strategy Labs

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

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

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

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

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

We're doing more for creative placemakers

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

It was a busy summer at The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking.  With the Municipal Art Society, we trained about 100 residents of the Bronx and Queens in creative placemaking. We trained New Jersey stakeholders in crowdmapping, thanks to the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority and Together North Jersey.  In our first  Certificate in Creative Placemaking program with New Hampshire Institute of Art, we welcomed 14 professionals from 10 states.  And we started planning for a host of new programs and services for creative placemakers around the United States.

Here's what we're working on for you over the next 12 months:

And we're not doing this alone. We've got the support of major grantmakers such as Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Mortimer and Mimi Levitt Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, New Jersey State Council on the Arts and Northern New Jersey Community Foundation.  We also have more than 50 partners from the nonprofit, business and government sectors around the United States.

We're looking forward to serving you, and the field of creative placemaking, better in 2017 and 2018.

If you'd like to partner with us on any of these projects, or have projects that we might be able to help you with, please contact Leonardo Vazquez by email or at 973-763-6352

How the arts can help communities recover from natural disasters and become more resilient

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

As our friends in Texas and the Southeast work through the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, it may seem an odd time to think about the arts.  But the arts can help hard-hit communities with their local economies and prepare for the next natural disaster.

Creative industries can be among the first to bounce back, as Mt. Auburn Associates found in their study of Louisiana after Katrina.  Researchers found that the cultural economy in Louisiana grew faster than the overall economy in the state between 2005 and 2007.  Actors, musicians, painters, and other artists tend to be mobile, and can often practice their crafts in a variety of locations.  So they don’t need a factory or big office building to come back online to work.

The arts can also help us recover emotionally.  After Superstorm Sandy in New Jersey, several foundations created the New Jersey Recovery Fund, which gave millions of dollars for art projects to help people recover from the damage.  All of them were interesting and useful.  Some of the more remarkable ones included In the Eye of the Storm, a ballet co-created by choreographers and residents of Atlantic City, NJ.  It was produced by the Atlantic City Ballet.  Another was Table Talk, a community building effort in Asbury Park, NJ 

Many communities have dealt with tragedies with murals, concerts, and art-making activities.  But it’s more about the people and the process than the product.  After Sandy, the Tilt-Up Concrete Association wanted to honor the victims of Sandy with a concrete memorial. They put up the work in Highlands NJ without engaging the community.  It didn’t go well.  The monument, dubbed ‘Shorehenge’, was torn down earlier this year.  It’s not missed.

After people have had time to recover, it’s important to think about how to minimize problems from future disasters.  Our partner, South Arts, offers Arts Ready to help arts organizations protect their community and cultural assets.

The City of Perth Amboy, NJ, sitting on the shores of two rivers, was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy. But too many residents are disconnected from their waterfront. This is a problem for resiliency.  If the public doesn’t have strong feelings about its waterfront, future officials might allow development there that could cause more expensive and more life-threatening damage to city residents.  As part of the New Jersey Recovery Fund program, NCCP helped the City with a creative placemaking plan that calls for a sculpture walk and environmentally friendly arts activities along the waterfront.   By encouraging residents to connect with the waterfront, they are more likely to want to protect it from overdevelopment.  This will help keep a natural buffer between the river and the denser neighborhoods nearby.

Creative placemakers can do a lot to help communities deal with natural disasters. To be effective, they need to build trusting relationships with decisionmakers.  This has to be done well before the next disaster, when officials will be extremely busy.   We can’t predict when the next hurricane, flood, earthquake, tornado or other natural disaster will hit. But we know that if it happened once, it can happen again – and sooner than we think.



Thursday, September 7, 2017

Lots of interest and support for Creative Placemaking Leadership Summits & Knowledge Exchanges

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

In August 2017, NCCP and South Arts put out a call for proposals to host the 2018 Southeast Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit & Knowledge Exchange. With less than a month's time for responses, I was worried we'd only get 1 or 2 proposals.  Today, we have at least 11, from cities throughout the region.

It's a sign of how much interest there is in these events, which bring together hundreds of people to
explore new thinking and research and model practices for making communities better with arts and local culture, Five Summits around the United States are scheduled from March 2018 to the fall.

They will be covering a wide variety of topics, including: gentrification, local economic development, sports and arts, physical development, tactical urbanism (demonstration projects), entrepreneurship, and creative placemaking in small towns.  You're welcome to propose a 90-minute workshop or 7-minute presentation.  The deadline is September 10. (See below for the list of Leadership Summits and themes.)

More than 50 volunteers from dozens of public agencies and private organizations are supporting this effort, as well as several grantmakers.  The National Endowment for the Arts Our Town program is providing NCCP and partners with $50,000 over two years for the Summits.  Additional funders and sponsors include New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Mortimer and Mimi Levitt Foundation, New Jersey Health Initiatives, Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, and Metris Arts.

Our partners are diverse as well. They include a dozen state arts agencies, as well as universities and nonprofit and cultural organizations.  Partners help plan and promote the events.

Sponsorships range from $250 for an exhibit table to $10,000 for an exclusive title sponsorship.  All the money goes to help support creative placemaking and to keep the programs accessible for a wide array of attendees.  Leadership Summits attract elected and appointed public officials, artists, urban planners, leaders of cultural organizations, grantmakers and more.

If your organization is interested in becoming a sponsor or partner of any of the upcoming Leadership Summits, please contact NCCP Executive Director Leonardo Vazquez by email or at 973-763-6352

Begun in 2014 in Newark, NJ, Creative Placemaking Leadership Summits serve between 150 and 250 people per year. Our regional summits are designed to serve that many as well.  We want them to have enough people to generate a lot of thinking and new connections -- but not so many that the event becomes overwhelming.

------
2018 Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit & Knowledge Exchanges


·         Southeast: Location to be determined[1], early to mid March. Major theme: Creative placemaking in small towns and rural areas. Subtopics: Designing for wellness, diversity and inclusion, tactical urbanism|lighter, quicker, cheaper| demonstration projects, maintaining affordable spaces

Sponsors to date: Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation

·         Southwest & Rocky Mountains: April 6-7, Denver. Major themes: Entrepreneurship and equity. Subtopics: creative placemaking in frontier towns; creative placemaking in mountain towns; Latino creative placemaking

Sponsors to date: Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation

·         Northeast Corridor: May 4-5, 10-11 or 17-18, Newark (NJ). Major themes: Gentrification, Making space for creativity (physical design), sports and arts. Subtopics: Introducing creative placemaking to communities, funding

Sponsors to date: Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Metris Arts, Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, New Jersey Health Initiatives, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Northern New Jersey Community Foundation
·         Appalachian: June 15-16 or June 22-23, Charleston (WV): Major themes: Local economic development and community wellness. Subtopics: Building arts ecologies in isolated areas, invigorating arts in smaller communities, creative placemaking in industrial and post-industrial communities, placekeeping/ protecting the ethos of a community, building effective partnerships with elected officials, leaders of local non-arts-related businesses, and nonprofit organizations, building local arts communities, connecting to regional and larger arts markets, and mapping creative assets

Sponsors to date: Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation
·         Capital Region (Washington DC area):  Fall, Maryland (location to be determined). Themes to be determined

Sponsors to date: Metris Arts, Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation




[1] Site will be in a mid-sized city in one of these states: Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky or Tennessee

Monday, July 10, 2017

Call for session proposals: Creative Placemaking Leadership Summits and Knowledge Exchanges

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

NCCP and its partners are planning five Creative Placemaking Leadership Summits and Knowledge Exchanges in 2018.  The convenings will be held in the southeastern US, Denver (CO), Newark (NJ), Charleston (WV) and Maryland.  Each convening has or will have a distinct theme.  These include creative placemaking in small towns and rural areas, gentrification, entrepreneurship and equity.

On behalf of our team of partners, we invite you to submit a proposal to conduct a workshop or presentation for any of the convenings.  The deadline is August 20, 2017. To learn more or submit a proposal, please go to: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/cpls18session


Workshops at 2017 Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit
in Newark, NJ


Since 2014, Creative Placemaking Leadership Summits and Knowledge Exchanges have engaged more than 700 people.  Many of them are decision makers or key influencers from a wide variety of disciplines, including philanthropy, public policy, urban planning, community and local economic development, arts, and academia.  In evaluations, the vast majority of participants have said that they enjoyed the events, learned useful information, and made valuable connections.


The convenings were held in New Jersey. Thanks to the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts Our Town program, we are able to offer these events around the United States.
To learn more about a previous Leadership Summit, please visit: artsbuildcommunities.com/cpls17

To learn more about a previous Knowledge Exchange, please visit: http://www.artsbuildcommunities.com/events/cpexchange16/

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Learning Tour brings New Jersey Creative Placemakers to Morristown

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

Creative placemakers from as far as the Jersey Shore and Brooklyn went to Morristown last week to see how arts and local culture are helping to enhance the North Jersey town.  They learned about social and economic issues in the community, toured a downtown arts festival, met local artists and community organizers, and explored a new public art project in a community that is often bypassed by visitors and residents.

It was the first Learning Tour produced by New Jersey Creative Placemakers, an initiative of The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking. 16 people attended the event, which was co-produced and led by Kadie Dempsey, the Director of  Creative Placemaking for Morris Arts.

The participants saw a film about the Gateway Totem, a National Endowment for the Arts-funded sculpture that honors the heritages of the diverse people who live or lived in the Speedwell Avenue neighborhood.



Learning Tour participants meet with local artists at the Gateway Totem
Participants also heard from Jennifer Wehring, the Executive Director of the Morristown Partnership, a downtown business organization, and Morris Arts Executive Director Tom Werder.  Morris Arts is the county arts agency for Morris County.  The participants also met with Carlos Sartelo, a local artist and community organizer who works with Morris Arts on community engagement in the diverse Speedwell Avenue neighborhood.  At the beginning and end of the tour, attendees went through Meet Me in Morristown, a monthly arts festival produced by Morris Arts in the spring and summer.

The participants also did some creative placemaking planning.  They stopped at a vacant building and lot and brainstormed possible strategies for the site.  After the tour ended, several of the participants enjoyed drinks at Tashmoo, a local pub.

The event was covered by Morristown Green, a local news organization. See the article.

Future tours are being planned for September through November 2017.  They will be in the Valley Arts District (Orange and West Orange), Hackensack, Rahway, and Hammonton. To learn more or get updates, sign up for the NCCP newsletter, like NCCP on Facebook or follow NCCP on Twitter.

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