Friday, May 12, 2017

Creative placemaking and Latino communities at APA national conference

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

The Latinos and Planning Division of the American Planning Association held several sessions at the American Planning Association's 2017 National Planning Conference.  NCCP Executive Director Leonardo Vazquez, a co-founder of the division, helped planners at these events learn more about the power of arts and culture to enhance communities.

The division held three sessions where participants could learn more about planning in Latino communities:  "Cultural Competency for Planners", "Professional Development Tips for Latino Planners" and a mobile workshop called "Latino Placemaking in Washington Heights."

In each of these, Leo shared how creative placemaking can help strengthen communities and empower residents, as well as engage people who are otherwise disconnected from public decision-making.

Thriving Together brings creative placemakers from US, Canada and Ghana together for Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

You might expect a conference focused on enhancing community and economic development through arts and culture to be a little different.  Would you expect to be building your visions for a community with children's toys and craft supplies?

That's what participants did in the "Urban Planners as Community Healers through Art-Making" workshop.  It was one of a dozen interactive workshops at Thriving Together, the third Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit.  It was held May 5 at New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, NJ.

It attracted more than 140 creative placemakers from around the United States, as well as Canada and Ghana.  The event attracted artists, cultural leaders, planners, grantmakers, public officials and more. They came to learn more about how to make creative placemaking more sustainable, build cross-sector partnerships and learn better ways to promote social equity.  "Urban Planners as Community Healers" was taught by James Rojas, a planner and artist known for creative community engagement.

Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit participants build in a workshop.

The conference also featured an after-lunch conversation "What's in the Paper?" that explored art-paper making and paper-based art as vehicles for helping traumatized people re-connect with their communities. The conversation featured Faith Bartley of People's Paper Co-op in Philadelphia and David Keefe of Frontline Arts in Branchburg. It was moderated by Newark Arts Council Executive Director Jeremy Johnson.

Leadership Summit participants play a game designed to promote communication and collaboration 
This year's event also included a reception, which was attended by about 50 people. The reception honored Donna Drewes, who as co-chair of Sustainable Jersey's Arts and Creative Culture Task Force, helped inspire dozens of municipalities in New Jersey to pursue creative placemaking.
The reception after the conference was a great way to relax and make new connections


Thursday, May 11, 2017

NCCP helps Queens residents learn creative placemaking

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

More than 40 residents of the Corona and Elmhurst neighborhoods of Queens, NY gathered in Aprilplacemakers, and help make their communities better through arts and cultural activities.
to learn to become creative

They were part of the Livable Neighborhoods Program, offered by the Municipal Art Society of New York.  In this workshop, led by Leonardo Vazquez, Executive Director of The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking, participants identified key issues they wanted to explore, identified partners to help them with those issues, and began developing strategies to address those issues.  The workshop was held April 29, 2017 at Italian Charities of America in Elmhurst, Queens.

They also learned to see their community as a creative placemaker would -- recognizing the array of places where creative and cultural activities happen now, and identifying potential sites for more creativity.  In teams of 4 to 6 people, they 'crowdmapped' large sections of their neighborhoods.

To help the new creative placemakers, NCCP and MAS created an 'outcomes' document that offers the participants recommendations for next steps that they can take

NCCP offers a variety of workshops that can be customized for many audiences.  To get more information, contact Leonardo Vazquez by email or at 973-763-6352.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Meet us at American Planning Association national conference

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

The American Planning Association is holding its National Planning Conference May 6 to May 9 in New York, and we'll be leading or participating in several sessions.  Meet with NCCP's Executive
Director Leonardo Vazquez at any of these sessions and events (or schedule another time to meet with him at the conference.)

Saturday, May 6

Leonardo Vazquez
10:45 am - noon:  Creative Placemaking from the Community Up

2:30 - 3:45 pm:  Cultural Competency in Planning. Leo will be leading a free-flowing conversation on how creative placemaking can help planners engage with and serve culturally diverse communities, and how planners can learn more about diverse communities through local arts and culture.

Sunday, May 7

1 - 2:15 pm: Professional Development Tips for Latino Planners. Leo will be leading a facilitated discussion to help planners of Latino/Hispanic heritage advance in their careers.

2:30 - 3:45 pm: Tactical Urbanism: People and Pavement

5 - 7:30 pm: Arts and Planning Interest Group/ArtPlace America Joint Event, Meeting and Reception

6:30 - 8:30 pm: APA NYMetro, New Jersey and Connecticut chapters Local Reception

Monday, May 8

8 am - noon: Exploring Latino Placemaking in Washington Heights. Leo will be co-leading a neighborhood walking tour, and exploring the role of arts and culture in placemaking in the community.

1 - 1:15 pm: Planning Healthy Cities Through Placemaking and Public Art

6 - 7:30 pm: Latinos and Planning Division Business Meeting

If you're not planning to be at any of these sessions or events, please feel free to contact Leo by email or at 973-763-6352 to meet with him at the conference