Thursday, June 21, 2018

New Workshops Part of the Certificate in Creative Placemaking

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP
The Certificate in Creative Placemaking program helps students influence the levers of power in communities. To this end, we are adding two workshops and a webinar to train students in strategic communications. We are also providing one year of free membership to the new membership program to be offered by The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking.
The Certificate in Creative Placemaking is produced by The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking and New Hampshire Institute of Art.
Strategic communications series
Reading strategically, a webinar available in September 2018, focuses on how to scan and review scholarly articles, plans, studies and other academic documents efficiently and effectively.
Writing strategically, a four-hour workshop to be offered in December 2018, focuses on writing creative placemaking studies and plans that the average reader can find convincing and persuasive. The workshop will be held near NCCP’s office in the Newark, NJ area
Speaking strategically, a four-hour workshop to be held in June 2019, focuses on presenting complex information about creative placemaking to different audiences. The workshop will be held in or around Newark, NJ or Manchester, NH.
These training sessions are available free, only to current students and graduates of the current or previous versions of the Certificate program. The sessions are optional, but highly recommended.
Anyone in the Certificate program can benefit from the strategic communications series, whether they are working artists unfamiliar with the communication styles of government officials, or public officials who want to persuade key stakeholders in their communities.
Free NCCP membership
This summer, NCCP will be unveiling a new membership program. In the first year, members will get curated notices of job and grant opportunities, as well as new or interesting projects and reports. Members will also get special discounts to NCCP programs. First year membership fees will be around $30. 
Certificate students will have free memberships while they are enrolled in the program. 
There are some seats still available. To learn more about the Certificate program, please visit   Also, please join us for an upcoming Certificate information session on June 27 at 6 pm eastern or July 19 at 12 pm eastern. For more information or to register, please visit

Monday, June 18, 2018

Our thoughts on the tragic events at Art All Night this weekend

By the staff and board of The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking

So many of us were stunned to hear about the tragedy Sunday at Art All Night in Trenton, NJ. It is more than an annual arts festival; it is a wonderful and inspiring event that for more than a decade has shown that the arts can bring – even for a day – joy, freedom and safety in a challenged area of Trenton.

We learned yesterday that no matter how hard you try to make completely safe enclaves, the tensions and pressures of the outside world can sometimes barrel in. And we may fall back on our fears and question our confidence.

But if we give in to our fears or negative thoughts, we lose something of ourselves. And the people who want us to be afraid feel more empowered. What we learn after events like this is that if we can be both confident and careful, we can keep building better and safer communities.
While we are upset about violence for any reason, we offer our condolences to the family of the person killed and to the all the victims.

We hope that the organizers of Art All Night will continue their path, which not only helps Trenton but all challenged communities. And of course we hope that everyone will go support the event next time. And we also hope that everyone will help address the social and economic issues that lead to violence and tragedy.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Learn Grant Writing Skills from an NEA Director

By Andrea Orlando, MSJ
Communications Manager
Jen Hughes
Director of Design and Creative Placemaking
National Endowment for the Arts
National Consortium for Creative Placemaking

Learn to craft an outstanding grant proposal from the source. Jen Hughes of the National Endowment for the Arts will offer a workshop on writing an excellent proposal at our upcoming Appalachian Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit.
Hughes will provide an overview of the NEA Our Town program and analyze the components of an outstanding proposal during a session at the two-day summit, scheduled for June 21 and 22 in Charleston, WV. The deadline for Our Town grant applications is August 9.

The NEA recently appointed Hughes to the role of Director of Design and Creative Placemaking, which administers the Our Town grant program. Since 2011 the National Endowment for the Arts has made 538 Our Town grants, investing more than $41 million in creative placemaking projects in communities of all sizes across the United States and its territories.

Creative placemakers will have the opportunity to attend Hughs' workshop after purchasing a ticket to the summit. Space in the workshop is limited, and seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking in partnership with ArtPlace America is organizing the events to build capacity and connections in the nascent field of creative placemaking.
The Appalachian summit is the fourth in a series of five for 2018. The first three summits were held in Denver, Chattanooga, TN, and Madison, NJ. The final national summit for the year will take place in the Washington D.C. area in early October.
Katherine Bray-Simons, also of the NEA, offered tips in a similar grant-writing workshop at the event in Madison, N.J. Read about her advice here.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Wild and Wonderful Workshop at Summit in West Virginia

By Andrea Orlando, MSJ
Communications Manager
National Consortium for Creative Placemaking
Historic photo of Luna Park in Charleston, WV

Take a walk on the wild and wonderful side of Charleston, WV, at our upcoming Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit for Appalachia. Two knowledgeable West Virginians will lead a mobile workshop through the city's west side on Thursday, June 21.

The workshop will help attendees flex their creative placemaking muscles and brainstorm ideas to improve the area through arts and cultural programming. "The West Side, A Wild and Wonderful Tour by Design," will take participants through the onetime site of a turn-of-the-20th-Century amusement park, a soon-to-be-built bourbon distillary, and a niche T-shirt retail store that hosts live indie music. The title of the workshop is a play on the state's slogan, "Wild and Wonderful." Todd Dorcas, Community Economic Development Program Officer for The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, and Mitchell Riggleman, who has a master's degree in architecture with a focus on history and theory, will lead workshop participants through a residential neighborhood that was once home of Luna Park, an amusement park that opened in 1912 and burned to the ground in 1923. The park was part of the first-ever chain of amusement parks collectively called, "Luna Parks." 

The park featured a roller coaster, dance pavilion, swimming pool, roller rink and live entertainment. Admission to the park was 15 cents, and a ride on the roller coaster, called the Royal Giant Dips Coaster, cost a dime, according to

Dorcas expects the tour will highlight issues of infill development, abandoned structures, vacant lots, affordable housing, historic preservation and gentrification.

Over the course of the two-day summit, attendees will chose from more than 20 sessions organized along the following themes: local economic development and community wellness; building local arts communities, building arts ecologies in isolated areas; invigorating arts in smaller communities; placekeeping and protecting the ethos of a community; building effective partnerships with elected officials; creative placemaking in post-industrial communities; and mapping creative assets.

The summit will serve the 11 states that share the Appalachian Mountain Chain from Alabama to western New York. More than 200 people from 19 states are expected to attend. Only 60 seats are still available for the summit, and space in the mobile workshop is limited 20.

The summit is the fourth in a series of five summits this year. The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking in partnership with ArtPlace America.  The last of the series for 2018 will take place in the Washington, D.C. area in early October.