Thursday, December 7, 2017

NCCP welcomes two new board members

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

Chuck Biczak and Anne LaBate have joined the Board of the Directors of The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking.  The appointments were made effective November 21, 2017

Charles "Chuck" Biczak is a strategy and marketing professional dedicated focused on designing and implementing strategies, marketing campaigns, and business development programs that work in the real world.  Chuck has worked in Corporate Planning at Canon USA, Inc. since 1998, where he is currently the Director of Strategic Change Management.  Chuck led the marketing strategy for the successful design and launch of a brand new corporate logo and tagline: Canon See Impossible.  In addition, Chuck has helped to establish strategic partnerships, develop new business, and establish the social media strategy for Canon. 

Chuck graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and earned his MBA in Marketing from Drexel University.  While at Drexel, Chuck was a Teaching Assistant in the Marketing Department and won awards for both his teaching and research.  He is currently pursuing a Master Certificate in Music Business through the Berklee College of Music.  The diverse education means that Chuck is comfortable with both quantitative and qualitative approaches, encourages analysis and intuition, understands the big picture as well as the smallest details, and balances passion with strong project management.

Anne LaBate has been active in commercial real estate for over 25 years, with a current focus on estate, and is pleased to work every day within the Creek to Canal Creative District.
sales and leasing and prior to that, the appraisal of commercial properties. As a resident of Trenton, NJ, she has a particular interest in promoting the competitive advantages of Trenton real

She is active in her community as a Board member of the Trenton Downtown Association, the Trenton Parking Authority, the MIDJersey Chamber of Commerce, and as a member of the Grants Committee of the Princeton Area Community Foundation. She formerly served on the Boards of Passage Theatre Company and Artworks Trenton.


Anne has a BA in Community Development from Rutgers University and a Master of Science in Real Estate Development and Investment from New York University.

On another note, former NCCP Board Treasurer Marisa Benson has stepped down from the NCCP Board of Directors.  

The NCCP Board of Director oversees the work and sustainability of The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking. For more information, please contact NCCP Executive Director Leonardo Vazquez by email or by phone at 973-763-6352, x1

Thursday, November 16, 2017

NCCP building a community of creative placemakers in New York City

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

Where do creative placemakers in New York City gather to share ideas and support one another?  We don't know either. So we have started working with colleagues from some nonprofit organizations in the city to help build a community of practice for creative placemaking. 

We have been building a professional community in New Jersey for a year, and now have more than 200 members around the state.

We are planning an event in late January or early February to bring together creative placemakers in New York City to share their insights and talk about what resources they need to be more successful (besides funding, of course.)

If you'd like to get involved with this effort, please contact NCCP Executive Director Leonardo Vazquez by email or at 973-763-6352, x1.  Learn more about The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking.

Image source: https://pixabay.com/en/street-art-new-york-art-graffiti-1319752/

Northeast Corridor Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit likely to be held in Madison, NJ May 3 and 4

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

After three years in Newark, the Northeast Corridor Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit will be in Madison, New Jersey on May 3 and 4, 2018.  NCCP is in talks with Drew University to hold the two-day event at the school's campus.

Madison is a small urban village about an hour's train ride, or a 45-minute drive, from New York Penn Station.  It is about a half-hour drive, or an hour's train ride, from Newark Airport.  There are hotels near the university.

It shouldn't be surprising that a regional conference focused on arts and community improvement would happen in a small, suburban community.  "There are a lot of communities in Jersey with a strong presence of arts," said NCCP Executive Director Leonardo Vazquez.  "Anyone coming in for the Leadership Summit should check out the different types of arts in towns along the train line:  Dover, Boonton, Morristown, Millburn, Maplewood, South Orange, Orange and Newark."

At Creative Placemaking Leadership Summits, artists, policymakers, developers, urban planners, teachers and more participate in interactive workshop and share ideas through peer exchanges.  There will also be workshops in various communities in New Jersey and at least one social/networking event. 

Major themes of the Northeast Corridor Leadership Summit are gentrification, making space for creativity (physical design), and sports and arts. Subtopics including introducing creative placemaking to communities and funding  

The sessions are still being developed.  NCCP has put out a call for session proposals; the deadline is Wednesday, November 22.  Learn more or submit a proposal.

Registration will open in December.


Several organizations are supporting the Northeast Corridor Leadership Summit.  They include:  American Planning Association (New England, New Jersey and New York Metro chapters), ArtPlace America, ArtPride New Jersey, Civic Eye Collaborative, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey, Metris Arts Consulting, Mortimer and Mimi Levitt Foundation, Noyes Museum of Art, New Jersey Community Capital, New Jersey Health Initiatives, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, PlanSmart New Jersey, South Jersey Cultural Alliance


ArtPlace America to co-present Creative Placemaking Leadership Summits with NCCP

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

ArtPlace America joins a host of partners to co-produce the 2018 Creative Placemaking Leadership Summits with The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking. The five regional summits are attracting hundreds of artists, planners, and community development practitioners.

Now entering its fourth year, the annual Creative Placemaking Leadership Summits bring together people from across the country who strengthen the social, physical, and economic fabric of their communities through arts and local cultural activities.

Thanks to a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts Our Town program, the convening is expanding to five regional Leadership Summits in 2018. The newest collaborator with The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking (NCCP) is ArtPlace America (ArtPlace), one of the nation’s leading organizations in creative placemaking.

Between March and October 2018, Leadership Summits will be held in Chattanooga (TN), Denver (CO), Newark (NJ) area, Charleston (WV), and College Park (MD). The Summits will bring together communities from rural to urban, and cover a wide range of topics, including public safety, gentrification, equity, and economic development.

For more information go to the Summit website. www.cplsummit.org. To talk with us, please contact NCCP Program Coordinator, Thomas Young, at tyoung@artsbuildcommunities.com or 973-763-6352, x2. 

“We’re excited to be working with ArtPlace America,” said NCCP Executive Director Leonardo Vazquez.  “The Leadership Summits are great. With ArtPlace America, they’re going to reach another level altogether.”

“NCCP is investing in the people who make our communities stronger,” said ArtPlace Communications Director Adam Erickson. “By connecting regional networks, they are anticipating the growing need for community leaders to escape siloes and build bridges to creatively solve the most pressing issues of our time, together. We are thrilled to work with NCCP on this effort.”

Additional partners include Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Mortimer and Mimi Levitt Foundation, New Jersey Health Initiatives, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, South Arts, Tamarack Foundation, University of Denver, University of Maryland, and 11 state arts agencies.


About ArtPlace America
ArtPlace America (ArtPlace) is a ten-year collaboration among 16 partner foundations, along with 8 federal agencies and 6 financial institutions, that works to position arts and culture as a core sector of comprehensive community planning and development in order to help strengthen the social, physical, and economic fabric of communities. 

ArtPlace focuses its work on creative placemaking, projects in which art plays an intentional and integrated role in place-based community planning and development. This brings artists, arts organizations, and artistic activity into the suite of placemaking strategies pioneered by Jane Jacobs and her colleagues, who believed that community development must be locally informed, human-centric, and holistic.

About The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking
The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking (NCCP) builds connections, capacity and community for creative placemaking.  NCCP offers webinars, workshops, conferences for the public, as well as coaching and advisory services for communities.

Contacts:
ArtPlace America – Adam Erickson, Director of Communications, adam@artplaceamerica.org, 347-853-7818  x305


The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking – Leonardo Vazquez, Executive Director, leo@artsbuildcommunities.com, 973-763-6352, x1

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Certificate in Creative Placemakers helps students see the bigger picture

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

Erica Ruben-Hadzic, a New Yorker who designs events and programs for nightclubs, joined the Certificate program because she wanted to “update my knowledge of current trends and best practices for bringing the arts into neighborhoods.”

She got a lot more.

“What I didn't expect, is how the Creative Placemaking program is turning my perspective around,” said Erica, who has been an Executive Producer for the prestigious Summer Stage in Central Park. 

“As a producer and curator, it is fascinating to learn about the process of building creative concepts through the history, voices, and success stories of a community. In some respects this course is challenging my notion of the producer/curator as the final taste maker.  Rather, I'm starting to better see that the very livelihood of a creative project in a community has so much more to do with the process of conceiving it there in the first place.

Erica is one of 14 students from nine states in the initial class of the Certificate in Creative Placemaking, a program developed by The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking and New Hampshire Institute of Art.

Students working on ideas during the residency
of the Certificate program. Image by Chris Archer
Between August 2017 and June 2018, the students will explore critical issues in creative placemaking.  They include community development, local economic development, qualitative and quantitative analysis, site planning, destination marketing, and alliance building. They also will develop their skills in collaborative leadership.  The program is mostly online.  Students met for a three -day residency in August, and are encouraged to share their work at an upcoming Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit offered by NCCP.

“The certificate has been a very fun and engaging way to explore the field,” said Ximena Bejarano, of Oakland, CA “and has really jumpstarted my own creativity in regard to how we might help shape the communities we live in. As someone without a background in planning, I feel that everyone's input is valued and I can draw on others in my cohort for their knowledge and experience.” 
Ximena, who works for Net Impact, a nonprofit that mobilizes young people to use their careers to lead social and environmental change, came to the program to “gain some tools that I could apply to my current work and that might help me bring placemaking into the work of the organization.”

Students are already using what they are learning in class.

Amy Regan, a founder of the Rochester (NH) Museum of Fine Art, used a public engagement technique she learned during the residency to explore how participants at a Pride festival felt about Rochester.

Manchester (NH) Philanthropist Liz Hitchcock is working on purchasing an old theater and club to turn into a community-oriented venue and performance space. 

Instructor Tom Borrup teaching students during the
residency.  Image: Chris Archer
Liz said, “I've gotten so much from the program already -- the ability to have the residency and meet all of the  classmates at the beginning of the program, helped me get a feel for the different problems other communities are seeing and some of the unique solutions that they have created.”

Amy, Liz, Ximena and Erica are trading ideas and learning with a diverse class of fellow students:

  • ·        Lindsey Danhauser is a Senior Program Supervisor for Art and Recreation Services for Eden Prairie (MN).
  • ·         Christa Drew, of Boxborough, MA is a Consultant for DAISA Enterprises, which provides business and initiative strategic planning, capacity building and evaluation services.
  • ·         Jodie Levandowski is a Planner for Manchester (NH).
  • ·         Emily Marks is an artist, curator and producer to youth audiences in Memphis (TN).
  • ·         Glenn Michalowski is a Program Administrator for a regional para-transit service based in Pequannock (NJ) and a liaison to the town’s Economic Development Committee.
  • ·         Kristin Stayer is the Executive Director for Park Place Community Center in Anderson (IL)
  • ·         John Sullivan, a science teacher in New York City, is on the Board of Bike and Walk Montclair (NJ)
  • ·         Lynn Thomson is the Manager of Community Education and Museum Outreach for the Currier Museum in Manchester (NH)
  • ·         Carly White is a Graphic Designer for THENDESIGN ARCHITECTURE in Cleveland (OH)
  • ·         Bob White is a landscape architect based in Portsmouth (NH)


“The course is rigorous and goes deep into how we define a community as well,” Erica said. “The teachers in this program share their heart-felt level of consciousness that is so encouraging to those of us who come at this program with a passion for our creative communities.”


Next year’s program will begin shortly after Labor Day 2018, and run until June 2019.  Registration for the 2018 program will open in January, and there will be monthly information sessions from January through July.  To learn more about the program, and sign up for updates, please visit http://www.nhia.edu/creativeplacemaking or contact Leonardo Vazquez, Program Director, at leonardovazquez@nhia.edu or 973-763-6352, x1

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.