Community based arts strategies have flourished recently around creative place making, a concept tying in the work of multiple sectors to strategically shape the physical and social characteristics of a place around arts and cultural activities. State arts agencies have long engaged in the work of fostering arts in communities through convenings, grant making, cultural districts, and other programs and services.
A national dialogue about creative place making has brought to life many more initiatives, projects, research and ideas that can be useful to state arts agencies delving further into implementing place based arts strategies. This page highlights creative place-making literature—including policy papers, case studies and research on impact measurement and validation—briefly summarizing and linking to each document. It serves as a primer on creative place making as well as a select bibliography to facilitate further investigation.
Building Community: Making Space for Art The Urban Institute and LINC Reflecting 16 years of urban planning research, this paper focuses on how arts spaces can be incorporated into community planning and revitalization strategies.
From Creative Economy to Creative Society Mark J. Stern and Susan C. Seifert, Social Impact of the Arts Project and The Reinvestment Fund This brief makes a case for a new model of the creative economy built on policies that recognize creative and social ecosystems and that are both place and people based.
Creativity and Neighborhood Development: Strategies for Community Investment Social Impact of the Arts Project and The Reinvestment Fund This publication offers a framework for investing in creative place-making projects that have the potential to coalesce social and civic relationships, build or reinforce public assets, reduce real estate vacancies, and/or foster networks between individuals and institutions.
Cultivating "Natural" Cultural Districts Mark J. Stern and Susan C. Seifert, Social Impact of the Arts Project and The Reinvestment Fund "Natural cultural districts"—high-density clusters of cultural assets developed by artists and organizations and not by policymakers—are introduced in this policy brief, which explains how districts can be leveraged for grass-roots community revitalization efforts.
Measurement & Evaluation
Measuring the Outcomes of Creative Placemaking Mark J. Stern, Social Impact of the Arts Project This presentation addresses the challenges of impact measurement and introduces an approach based on cultural ecologies and a multidimensional definition of social well-being.
Cultural Vitality in Communities: Interpretation and Indicators Maria Rosario Jackson, Ph.D., Florence Kabwasa-Green, and Joaquín Herranz, Ph.D., The Urban Institute This paper offers an inclusive definition of "cultural vitality," identifies the data that should be collected to measure it, and recommends a set of arts and culture indicators.
"Natural" Cultural Districts: A Three-City Study Mark J. Stern and Susan C. Seifert, Social Impact of the Arts Project This summary of a two-year study recommends long-term strategies for arts based community development to benefit entire cultural ecologies.
Arts and Culture at the Core: A Look at Creative Placemaking NEA Arts, Number 3, 2012 A special edition of the quarterly National Endowment for the Arts magazine features creative place-making experts and successful projects in Baltimore, Maryland; San Jose, California; Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and Driggs, Idaho.