Monday, May 16, 2016

NEA grant will help NCCP, PlanSmart NJ and partners build creative placemaker community in New Jersey

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

The National Endowment for the Arts Our Town program has approved PlanSmart NJ and The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking for a two-year, $50,000 grant to help build the field of creative placemaking in New Jersey.  The grant, announced in May, was awarded to advance this growing practice.

This grant will help grow several strategies to build a supportive, learning community among people who work to make places better through arts and cultural activity.

Funding will support convenings that bring together hundreds of people, such as the Creative
Community building at the 2016 Creative Placemaking
Leadership Summit
Placemaking Leadership Summit
, the Creative Placemaking Knowledge Exchange and Creative Team Roundtables; thought leadership to build a more welcoming climate for arts and creativity; and Community Coaching.  Each community that completes Community Coaching will receive an extra 10 hours of technical assistance per year, thanks to the grant.  PlanSmart NJ and NCCP will create a community advisory board of partners and representatives of Community Coaching teams to enhance the impact of the upcoming work.

Through research, policy briefings and guides, PlanSmart NJ influences leaders and policymakers in New Jersey to make wiser decisions around land use and sustainable development.  The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking (NCCP) works to build capacity, connections and community among creative placemakers throughout the United States. NCCP organizes interesting, informative and useful convenings; designed and leads the Certification in Creative Placemaking program at The Ohio State University; conducts webinars and workshops; designed and conducts the Community Coaching program; conducts research on the creative economy; and influences leaders from the neighborhood to the national level. 

PlanSmart and NCCP have worked together on several projects.  Among them were the development of the creative placemaking research and strategies in the award-winning Together North Jersey initiative.

To learn more about how this grant can help your community, please contact NCCP Executive Director Leonardo Vazquez by email or at 973-763-6352.

PlanSmart NJ Executive Director Ann Brady contributed to this report.

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