Friday, May 12, 2017

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


No comments:

Post a Comment