Thursday, May 21, 2015

NCCP building a community of creative placemakers in New Jersey

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

There are at least 46 teams doing creative placemaking in New Jersey -- as well as many people who are not part of identified teams. The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking is working to bring creative teams and creative placemakers together to build a supportive, learning community of practice.

On May 13, we and Monmouth Arts held the first Creative Team Roundtable at the Oyster Point Hotel in Red Bank, NJ.  Eighteen people from seven communities came together to explore key questions and share ideas for creative placemaking.

The two key issues the participants explored were:

  • What are the best ways to engage landlords and property owners to help move public art projects forward?
  • How to bring community strength to our region via creative placemaking?
The questions were chosen by participants from among 12 that were suggested by the 30 people who registered for the event.

Participants at the Creative Team Roundtable in Red Bank, May 13
Some of the recommendations for working with landlords and property owners are to:

  • Partner with local governments and special improvement districts
  • Encourage local governments to provide incentives to property owners
  • Make a financial case (such as the number of visitors that could be drawn to a work of public art, or that art can help improve blighted areas)
  • Make the process fun, and ensure that property owners are clear on their rights, and clarify what would happen if the property gets sold. (Putting wall art on frames can make it easier to move it off-site)
Recommendations for bringing community strength through creative placemaking include:

  • Get government involved early on.  While artists may want to start the process of creative placemaking, the efforts are strengthened if government officials are involved at the start
  • Create a central space for arts and creative people to come together
  • Be clear about the community you want to serve and what its identity is or should be
  • Build on existing strengths in the community
  • Provide opportunities for entrepreneurship
NCCP will be conducting another Creative Team Roundtable in Fall 2015, and offers other opportunities for creative placemakers to learn from one another.  On June 26, in partnership with Rutgers University School of Public Affairs and Administration, Rutgers University-Newark Department of Arts, Culture and Media and Ohio State University, NCCP is hosting the Creative Placemaking Knowledge Exchange.  NCCP is also developing additional programs and opportunities for those interested in creative placemaking to come together.

To learn more or get updates on upcoming events, please follow NCCP on Facebook or Twitter or subscribe to our newsletter.

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