Arts and Culture

Arts and culture have always been part of successful community work, fostering social cohesion, engagement, and dialogue, but there’s a lot to learn about the many ways they can be employed and partnerships that are out there to be formed.

Family skating at Akoma market.

‘We-Making’: How Arts and Culture Build Social Cohesion

In Oakland, the Black Cultural Zone ties together art and community ownership to prevent gentrification and heal trauma.
Two older woman talk at a table, as part of a busy outreach event.

From an Abandoned Mall to Bustling Community Hub

A medical complex in Mississippi draws on local artists to go beyond doctors' offices and become a gathering place for those living nearby.
Three audience members doing an activity on a table, while an actress stands up on stage behind them.

Shifting the Affordable Housing Narrative Through Arts and Culture

Housing activists want to use this political moment to shift long-standing narratives surrounding housing. From film to theater, here are some arts strategies that might work.

The Racial Reckoning in Public Spaces

Following George Floyd’s murder in 2020, there was an explosion of anti-racist street art across the country. “When we allow ourselves to release our emotions, oftentimes what is produced out of that is art.”

Containing Costs Through Shipping Container Housing

Reusing shipping containers for housing has been discussed for years. In West Palm Beach a whole affordable apartment building will be built out of them.

A Park That Affirms a Culture’s Rich Traditions

“If it weren’t for the artists, we wouldn’t have gotten anywhere.” By incorporating the Zuni people into the planning, design, and execution, a unique park in New Mexico addresses health on multiple levels.

Gentrification: Is Pop Culture Getting It Right?

Gentefied. In the Heights. Vida. How do storylines and portrayals of gentrification in cinema stack up to how it plays out in real life?

More Than a Mural: How Arts and Culture Advance the Mission of the Seattle...

Arts programs at one public housing development in Seattle have eased the challenges of redevelopment by helping residents define what the community means to them.

Arts for Community Control: Planning an Arts and Innovation District Without Displacement

Jason Moreno first learned about redevelopment efforts taking place in his Boston neighborhood on a sunny summer afternoon in July 2018 at his local outdoor basketball court. Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI) had set...

Crossing the Digital Divide During COVID

Flyers, phone calls, and podcasts, oh my! Organizations blend past and present strategies to stay in touch with community members.
Photo of AICHO's Gimaaji Gardens

Duluth Indigenous Groups Reframe Climate Work in Cultural Context

While many conversations about climate resiliency are well-intentioned, they often lack a perspective grounded in community control and cultural context. In this interview, Ivy Vainio and LeAnn Littlewolf from the American Indian Community Housing Organization explore how gardens, worm bins, and solar panels help reclaim agency for Duluth's Indigenous communities.

A Transformative Experiment in Alaska

What do mimes, micro-units, and honoring Alaskan Natives have in common? Artists. The Cook Inlet Housing Authority's work with artists helped the organization realize new markers of success and furthered its housing goals.

Albuquerque Artists Sustain Connection Despite Social Distancing

Placemaking is an inherently in-person practice, but it doesn’t always have to be. In Albuquerque, an exhibit was reimagined to highlight the work of local photographers, who captured striking images of life during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Creative Impetus for Cultural Pride

The Little Tokyo Service Center uses art to inspire activism, and increase awareness of the community’s cultural assets.

How Artists Helped a Housing Organization Adapt to Demographic Change

An in-depth look at the lessons one housing organization learned after receiving a multimillion grant to integrate arts and culture strategies in its work. Has the organization changed the way it operates?
A woman wearing a white shirt and pants smiles outside as she listens to music from her headphones.

New Visions of Justice Through the Camera Lens

An experimental learning opportunity allows formerly incarcerated individuals to use photography to explore ideas of freedom, complex relationships, and their personal experience with the criminal justice system.
Artists_COVID sign

A Letter from A Starving Artist

To my fellow artists? Just please, PLEASE, stick around on the planet. I know. It’s getting tougher. For me too. You’re not alone.

Art that Amplifies the Stories of Formerly Incarcerated People

Art that highlights the effects of long-term sentencing and the need to support and expand services for those who are reentering society.

Parks, People, and Inclusive Collaborative Planning

A Philadelphia park conservancy develops arts-based partnerships within the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood to strengthen the community's cultural identity.

Don’t Wait to Call in the Artists

If artists are going to bring their creative problem-solving selves to projects, they need to get involved when the problem is being identified.

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