Wednesday, March 8, 2017

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

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

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

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

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

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

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

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

Learn more or register for the reception.

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

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

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

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

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Learn a great deal at the next Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit

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

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

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

Saturday, February 4, 2017

New Jersey Creative Placemakers, a new community for creative placemaking

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, January 30, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, January 9, 2017

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

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For 2017:

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