Friday, April 20, 2018

Creative Placemaking Leadership Summits Send Ripples Across the Southeast and Southwest


Photo by Sooraj Shajahan

By Andrea Orlando, MSJ

Communications Manager, NCCP

A small city in Colorado may get solar panel murals for their planned live/work spaces for artists. Prison inmates in Georgia may have their art displayed throughout the community. A small-town art center in Alabama will reach out to the local young people to ask what would entice them to remain in the area after college graduation.
    These are just a few of the ripple effects of regional creative placemaking leadership summits produced by the National Consortium for Creative Placemaking.  
    “The summit has changed not only my life and my outlook, but it’s going to make huge changes in our community for a very long time,” said Elizabeth Welch, Executive Director of the Okefenokee Heritage Center in Waycross, GA.  Welch attended the Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit in Chattanooga, TN in March, the first in a series of five regional summits planned for 2018.   
     For Marilyn Leuszler, chairperson of a creative district in a Colorado town, the CPL Summit in Denver last month affirmed and inspired. 
     “There were so many passionate leaders who presented, and it was easy to see why their various programs and projects are successful, Leuzler wrote. Leuszler’s creative district, called Coraz√≥n de Trinidad, is part of a Colorado municipality with a population of fewer than 10,000 people.  “The resonating theme was that the best and most successful ideas are based on each individual community. There were no cookie-cutter plans for making your community better.”
     More than 500 artists, arts administrators, planners, architects and designers have attended regional creative placemaking leadership summits hosted by the National Consortium for Creative Placemaking in partnership with ArtPlace America. And those events are inspiring just the right people, the achievers who were already making their communities better through arts and cultural programming. More than 90 percent of summit attendees who took a post-summit survey either agreed or strongly agreed that what they learned at the convening was useful to their work.  
     Leuszler attended the
Photo by Andrea Orlando
Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver 
summit in Denver in April. The workshop on combining solar energy and art impressed her so much she is now gathering information on incorporating solar power into plans to develop affordable live/work spaces for the creative community. “I would not have known of this combination of art and solar had I not attended the Creative Placemaking Summit in Denver,” she wrote. 
     Leuszler is hoping to solve another community challenge with an idea from the summit. Her organization had been planning to plant grass seed to keep the wind from blowing dirt from the site of three buildings slated for demolition. After a workshop led by a presenter from Pheonix, she decided to plant native wildflowers and install benches and sources of shade as well as a maze of pathways to run through a colorful garden.   
     Sulynn Creswell, Executive Director of Black Belt Treasures Cultural Arts Center in Camden, AL, said she had been grappling with the question of how to inject youthful energy and creativity into her paper mill town of approximately 2,500, a town she described as being in one of the poorest regions of Alabama.  She had her aha moment at the Chattanooga summit in a workshop on asset mapping. She realized that high school-aged children needed to be consulted in the town’s quest for improvement. “We really want our young people to stay, and how do we engage them in envisioning our future,” Creswell said. “Youth bring so much vitality, energy and new ideas. We want to make this a place that is going to hold on to all of that.” 
Photo by Ivan Schustak
CPL Summit in Chattanooga
     Creswell added that the only people under represented at the summit were elected officials. “I think it would have been helpful if there had been someone from city government there. They need these kinds of summits to really recognize what would happen if the arts were incorporated into the life of the community,” she said. 
     Rusty Sox, who does work for South Arts, an arts organization and co-organizer of the Chattanooga summit, said grant applications from summit attendees have been flowing in. South Arts works in partnership with the state arts agencies of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Sox said the summit empowered people to talk to their elected officials about new ideas. “We’re getting new energy and excitement about creative placemaking,” he said. 
     The next summit will take place much closer to home for NCCP, which is based in Union, NJ and its co-producer, ArtPlace America, which is based in Brooklyn, NY. The Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit for the Northeast Corridor is scheduled for May 3 and 4 in Madison, NJ at Drew University. 
     “I think it’s going to be the best one,” said Executive Director of the NCCP, Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP. Vazquez said the upcoming summit in New Jersey will have fascinating workshops and impressive sponsors. 
Photo by Andrea Orlando
ART Factory, Paterson, NJ
      Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, Parks Commissioner of NYC will lead a brainstorming session on making improvements to Oval Park in East Orange. Oval Park was the site of a baseball stadium and the sometime home of the New York Cubans. Most members of this unique team were from Latin America. Today the park is a small neighborhood open space in a challenged area of the Newark suburb.  There is nothing to remind visitors of the history of the team, which won the 1943 Negro Leagues World Series. The workshop, one of three mobile workshops that will take place on site, will resurface that history through creative placemaking.
     Attendees may also sign up for a mobile workshop at the ART Factory in Paterson, a complex of more than 20 factory buildings dating back to 1840. The buildings are now a burgeoning art studio center that is expanding to include an artists’ and makers’ market. Another field trip will take summit-goers to an abandoned baseball field in Paterson, Hinchliffe Stadium. The stadium also has a place in Negro League baseball history from the era of segregated baseball, which ended soon after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier on April 15, 1947. 
     Vazquez said the summits welcome everyone from people who are just starting to learn how to make communities better through arts and local cultural activities to those who have been doing the work since, “before placemaking was cool.” 
      “We all learn from one another,” he said. 
     Summit attendees are invited to stay connected through NCCP's online community on our website.


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Look Who's Going to the Northeast Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit May 3 and 4

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP
They'll be there. Will you?
Creative Placemaking Leadership Summits, produced by ArtPlace America and The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking attract leaders and key influencers who work to make communities better through arts and local culture. Here are some of the organizations whose leaders will be at the Summit at Drew University, May 3-4 in Madison NJ. Register before April 26 to get the best ticket prices.
Age of The Creative New York NY | Alameda County Sheriff's Office San Leandro CA | Americans for the Arts Washington DC | ArtPlace America Brooklyn NY | Bunker Hill Community College Boston MA | Catamount Film & Arts Saint Johnsbury VT | Chestnut Hill Advisory Partners LLC New York NY | City of Bloomington Bloomington IN | Community Solutions / Brownsville Partnership Brooklyn NY | Conexion AmericasNashville TN | Creative Agency Somerville MA | Creative Glassboro Glassboro NJ | Connecticut Department of Economic & Community Development Hartford CT | Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation Brooklyn NY | Detroit Collaborative Design Center Detroit MI | Drew University Madison NJ | Drexel University Philadelphia PA | Enterprise Community Partners Boston MA | Spaceworks NYC New York NY | Fairleigh Dickinson University Madison NJ | FEMA Riverside NJ | Flemington Community Partnership Flemington NJ | GARNER Arts Center Garnerville NY | Greater Jamaica Development Corporation Jamaica, NY | Greater Nashville Regional Council Nashville TN | HACE CDC Philadelphia PA | Heurista Co Asheville NC | Jersey Community Acupuncture Flemington NJ | Just Act Philadelphia PA | Larisa Ortiz Associates LLC Jackson Heights NY | League of American Orchestras New York NY | Local Initiatives Support Corporation Newark NJ | Little Tokyo Service Center Los Angeles CA | Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) NYC New York NY | Looney Ricks Kiss Princeton NJ | Los Angeles County Arts Commission Los Angeles CA | Lupoart Morristown NJ | Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts North Adams MA | Mayo Performing Arts Center Morristown NJ | MEC Placemaking Des Moines IA | Meta Local Collaborative New York NY | Metris Arts Consulting Easton PA | Metro Arts Nashville TN | Modern Vintage Ink, LLC Brooklyn NY | Moving in the SpiritAtlanta GA | Municipal Art Society New York NY | National Endowment for the ArtsWashington DC | Neighborhood Design Center Hyattsville MD | NeighborWorks America New York NY | NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley Woonsocket RI | New Jersey Community Capital New Brunswick NJ | New Jersey Community Development Corporation Paterson NJ | New Jersey Health Initiatives Camden NJ | New York City Department of Small Business Services New York NY | New York City Department of Parks New York NY | Northern New Jersey Community Foundation Hackensack NJ | Northeastern School of Law Boston MA | New York City Department of Small Business Services New York NY | Perkins+Will Atlanta GA | Queensland University of Technology  Queensland Australia | ReThink Theatrical New Brunswick NJ | Seattle Housing Authority Seattle WA | Shelterforce Magazine Montclair NJ | SHIFTSPACE Design Philadelphia  PA | Sierra Club Detroit MI | Sikora Wells Appel Haddonfield NJ | South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation Bronx NY | Southwest CDC Philadelphia PA | Studioful Architecture Salem MA | Surdna Foundation New York NY | The Cultural Planning Group Melrose Park PA | The Forever Museum Archive New York NY | the Neighborhood Design Center Baltimore MD | The Rockhopper Trenton NJ | The United Way of Passaic County Paterson NJ | Topos Partnership Cincinnati OH | Trenton Downtown Association Trenton NJ | True Stories Let Loose  Nashville  TN  | Urban Institute Washington DC | Urban Land Institute Washington DC | Urban League of Essex County Newark NJ | UrbanPromise Pennsauken NJ | What Works Cities New York NY | Youngstown State University / City of Youngstown Youngstown OH