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.

An Appetite for Art in Small Town Minnesota

In rapidly diversifying rural Minnesota, an ArtPlace grant is seen as a resource for celebrating cultures and creating bridges between them.
speech conversation balloons

Starting Conversations with Public Art

An arts collaboration comes up with a creative spark to facilitate discussions about neighborhood change.

Bluegrass, Rodeos, and Other Signs of a Living Community

This weekend the small community where I live had its annual heritage fair. This is when people get together to celebrate the traditional arts...

Arts in Public Schools: Essential. Life Saving.

This is dedicated to that Little Girl who experienced the first part of life in such a hard way who used to retreat to her world...
Little Tokyo neighborhood

“Welcome to Little Tokyo, Please Take Off Your Shoes:” Remembering Dean Matsubayashi

Sustained resistance to gentrification and displacement requires more than antagonism. It requires a community organized around an open, positive alternative vision that has both big ambitions and achievable, intermediary steps.

A Tale of Two Murals in Albany

Having had the experience of public art with no public involvement, a community organization set out to show there could be another way.

Creative Placemaking: Honoring the Past While Welcoming our Futures

A discussion about honoring the history of a place while actively working to encourage its growth and foster positive change.

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.

Looking at Places Through Artists’ Eyes

How an Alaskan housing authority plans to focus on creative placemaking as a development strategy to better reflect the communities it serves.
porch party

Sitting on a Porch Can Be Good for Your Health

To help combat isolation and reweave the connecting fabric that had been lost, a neighborhood arts center launches an initiative that eventually became a movement.

The (In)Efficiencies of Scale

ArtsBlog (the blog of Americans for the Arts) recently hosted a forum called:  “So, Does Size Matter?”  The short answer is hell yes it...

False Narratives About Artists Harm Artists, and Communities

In 2002, Richard Florida published a book that kicked off a wave of urban development efforts based on the belief that architects, artists, musicians,...
two couples dance in traditional Mexican ballet folklorico style

Redevelopment That Preserves Cultural Heritage

Preserving and fortifying longstanding culture is key to social cohesion in a community. How can we make sure it's given equal priority when planning for and funding redevelopment?

Bringing Together Arts and Community Development

Who has been behind the large increase in financial support for and attention to what has been termed "creative placemaking" over the past couple years, and why?
Child showing a story book to another child.

How This Museum Supports Community Integration and Trauma Recovery

Using artistic expression to de-stigmatize and treat trauma.
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.

Exploring Foreclosure Through Art

In Minneapolis and Boston, artists help explore the losses (and gains) of foreclosure with work that supports advocacy and community building.
community of people gathered

Reimagining a Neighborhood, The Way It Ought To Be

The arts have a long history of highlighting social issues and creating public conversation that results in measurable change. As an arts administrator with...

Let’s Turn this Old Barn into a Theater…Part II

Moving into a newly adapted space usually entails a leap in operations—not a slow, steady climb.
An abstract mural in red, blue, green, yellow, and black.

Challenges of Space and Place in Creative Placemaking

Some of us, myself included, are susceptible to the inaccurate thinking that when the arts are involved, the complications that can arise with traditional community building are lessened.