Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Registration now open for the 2016 Certification in Creative Placemaking program

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

Registration is now open for the 2016 Certification in Creative Placemaking program from The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking and The Ohio State University.  This unique, online program helps up to 30 continuing education and graduate students learn creative placemaking at a deep level, as well as develop practical leadership and planning skills.  

Coaching success stories: Hackensack murals, Englewood historical exhibit

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

If you are in Englewood, NJ, you could see an exhibit about the city's long history and success in sports at the historic Mackay Park gatehouse.  Go 15 minutes west to Hackensack, and you can see an outdoor gallery of murals on Main Street.

Both projects stem from community coaching and team building provided by The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking (NCCP).

In Englewood, the sports exhibit runs through December 13.  NCCP was contracted by the City of Englewood to prepare a vision plan for Mackay Park, the city's largest and most central park.  Since its founding in 1906, Mackay Park has gone from being a woodsy escape for weekend picnics to something more like an outdoor sports complex. Several residents wanted the vacant historic Gatehouse at the park's north end to become a museum.

Members of Englewood's Mackay Park Vision Plan
Leadership Team in a visioning exercise
On behalf of the City, NCCP helped to build and coached a diverse team of neighborhood residents, city staff and park users to develop the team.  NCCP invited members of the Englewood Historical Society to join the team. Through the team-building process,  diverse team members developed several ideas for programs and physical improvements to the park. The historical exhibit is among the first of what is hoped to be several more community-oriented activities in the park.

In Hackensack, NCCP, in partnership with the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, provided community coaching to Creative Hackensack.  This team, which is completing a creative placemaking plan, involved as many as 40 people from throughout the city.

Hackensack muralists meeting
Hackensack muralists meeting.  Image source: Main Street
Business Alliance Facebook page

The team developed a number of short term projects. The first one now being completed is the set of murals along a construction site on Main Street in the heart of its downtown.  The team took an innovative approach to its first mural project.  With an asset-based orientation and a goal to make art accessible to as many Hackensack residents as possible, team members saw 32 wooden panels at a construction site as a set of canvases.  Working with the property owner, the foundation and City organized a call for artists in June, and contracted with five artists to complete murals.

As the new building behind the murals is constructed, and the boards are no longer needed for public safety, the murals will travel throughout the City to inspire more creative activity.

In December, NCCP will begin working with the Glassboro Partners -- a partnership of the City of Glassboro, New Jersey and Rowan University, on community coaching to develop a creative placemaking vision plan.  The first community event will be from December 1, from 4:30 to 7:30, at the Rowan University Art Gallery, 301 High Street in downtown Glassboro.

Community coaching is available to any individual community within two hours travel (by train or car) of Newark, New Jersey.  Coaching services are available elsewhere in the United States if a minimum of five communities are involved.  Learn more about community coaching.
A finished mural by Lissane Lake. Image source:
  Main Street Business Alliance Facebook page

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

New and upcoming webinars on creative placemaking

By Leonardo Vazquez

The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking and The Ohio State University are offering eight webinars on creative placemaking between December 2015 and May 2016.  The webinars cover a wide variety of subjects, including community development, economic development, psychological well-being and sustainability.

  • December 3, 2 to 3:30 pm eastern: Creative placemaking: integrating community, cultural and economic development,   Learn more or register
  • December 16, 2 to 3 pm eastern: History of creative placemaking in the United States, Learn more or register.
  • January 19, 2 to 3 pm eastern: Creative placemaking and human needs placemaking.  Learn more or register.
  • January 26, 2 to 3 pm eastern: Community coaching: a new way to speak truth to power, Learn more or register.
  • February 23, 2 to 3 pm eastern. Incorporating arts in urban and site design.  Learn more or register.
  • March 8, 2 to 3 pm eastern. The rise of freelance artists: implications for urban planning and design.  Learn more or register.
  • April 12, 2 to 3 pm eastern. Cultural districts and cultural institutions: suns or black holes?  Learn more or register. 
  • May 10, 2 to 3 pm.  How creative placemaking can help build more resilient communities Learn more or register.

To learn more about these webinars, please visit the Certification in Creative Placemaking program

A donation of $20 per webinar is requested.  Funds will help support the Certification in Creative Placemaking program at OSU.  However, anyone can participate free with the discount code:  donation