Tuesday, September 23, 2014

New Jersey State Council on the Arts increases support for NCCP

By Leonardo Vazquez

The New Jersey State Council on the Arts awarded The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking a grant of $12,500 for the 2015 fiscal year. The Council's support will help NCCP strengthen several programs.  These include community coaching, thought leadership, and creative sector research.  All funding from the State Council will be used exclusively in New Jersey.

The grant represents a 25% increase over the fiscal year 2014 grant of $10,000.

NCCP's grant funding is administered by PlanSmart NJ, NCCP's fiscal agent.

We thank the members and staff of the Council for their ongoing support.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

State arts agencies staff to explore community coaching at national conference

By Leonardo Vazquez

NCCP Executive Director Leonardo Vazquez will be speaking on community coaching -- a method for building leadership in communities at the upcoming National Assembly of State Arts Agencies conference in November.

Community coaching sessions generate
 a lot of ideas and information
Community coaching is a distinct, six to nine-month program that develops diverse teams to engage in creative placemaking.  Each community team has around 12 to 40 members, and includes at least one working artist and one elected official in the community.  A trained coach is paired with the team and helps team members explore opportunities and challenges for creative placemaking. Through the sessions, the coach not only helps team members build their plan, but also helps them build their capacity to engage in productive partnerships and deal with the challenges of implementation.

The NASAA Assembly 2014 is from November 13 to 15 in New Orleans.  It is hosted by the Lousiana Office of Cultural Development.  In 2013, the Office conducted a custom community coaching program called Lousiana Creative Communities Initiative.  In this NCCP-designed program, ten communities throughout the state participated. They were coached by Louisiana arts and public affairs professionals who were trained by NCCP.

Community coaching is immediately available for individual communities within two hours of Newark, NJ.  To learn about more about opportunities for other communities, please contact Leonardo Vazquez  by email or by phone at 973-763-6352

Vazquez will be available for one-to-one and small group consultation at the assembly on November 13.  Please feel free to contact him for a consultation of up to 30 minutes.

Learn more about community coaching

Creative placemaking certification program has record enrollment and diversity

By Leonardo Vazquez

A public official from Christchurch, New Zealand.  A planner and nonprofit executive from Manila, The Philippines.  Five planners from Los Angeles County, California.  A community artist in Brattleboro, Vermont.  A Master of Business Administration candidate at The Ohio State University.

These are some of the 25 students in this year’s Certification in Creative Placemaking program.  They represent the largest and most diverse class since the program started at Ohio State University’s Knowlton School in Fall 2013.

This unique and challenging 10-month program helps students think broadly and deeply about creative placemaking, build their leadership skills, and practice creative placemaking planning and analysis.  

To get their certification, students:
·         Complete 6 ‘deep learning’ courses in topics such as community development, economic development, capacity building, site planning and destination marketing;
·         Participate in 8 to 10 entrepreneurial leadership sessions, where they explore cost-effective and ethical ways to influence individuals and groups, build alliances, and work in diverse environments.
·         Develop a creative placemaking plan or evaluate existing creative placemaking efforts in a community of their choice.

“The group is amazing,” said Audrey Stefenson, an AmeriCorps Member with the Appalachian Forest Heritage Area who joined the program this year, “(Instructor) Tom (Borrup) has been incredibly engaging and helpful, and the progression of topics has been very helpful, yet challenging. I'm learning a ton! I particularly enjoy learning from such a diverse group of people.”

Graduate students and continuing education students work alongside one another (virtually, since the
program is entirely online.)  They read the same scholarly materials and engage each other in instructor-led conversations.  Students also learn from one another.

Instructors are experts in the growing field of creative placemaking. They include Borrup, a nationally-known consultant and author of The Creative Community Builder’s Handbook and Juana Guzman, who is known for development cultural tourism in non-traditional communities.

The Certification program is a joint production of the Knowlton School’s City and Regional Planning program and The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking.  Registration is closed for this year’s program, but it will be offered again next year.