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.

Native women tan hide outside as part of a program called Indigenous Visionaries

The Next Generation of Indigenous Knowledge Keepers

A tribal college program works to preserve crucial Native American cultural elements while training indigenous women to step into leadership roles in their communities.
A booth is set up for residents to ask about a project called 303 ArtWay. In this photo, an ArtWay representative chats with three residents.

Creating Miles of Art in the Mile High City

How a Denver organization intends to create a 9-mile art-, health-, and heritage-themed bike and pedestrian trail that will feature authentic cultural expression.

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.
Patrons looking at gallery wall.

If We Want the Arts in Baltimore, We Need Its Artists

Artists have left their mark on Station North and paved the way for an arts district, but the organically-developed communal live/work spaces that play such a vital role in helping make Baltimore an arts mecca are an endangered species.

Art Just Became Even More Essential

Coming mere days after the election, the reference to the famous Audre Lorde declaration, “Art gives us tools other than the master’s tools,” felt apropos. The people in the room were ready to hear any message of hope. I was no exception.
“La Crucifixion de Don Pedro,” the oldest Puerto Rican mural in Humboldt Park.

Conflict and Placemaking in Humboldt Park: Paseo Boricua

The area surrounding Paseo Boricua is not exclusive space, but in a gentrifying part of the city, it is undeniably—and perhaps unavoidably—contested space. 

Poem: “Tires Stacked in the Hallways of Civilization”

Yes, Your Honor, there are rodents, said the landlord to the judge, but I let the tenant have a cat. Besides, he stacks his tires in the hallway.
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.

Poem: “What Must Be Done”

Do not hate them. Do not be angry with them: The real estate agents, appraising the value of other peoples lives, calculating the profit that someone’s home of twenty...
Kresge president Rip Rapson

Interview with Rip Rapson, president and CEO of the Kresge Foundation

If you look at what Rip Rapson has accomplished and the insight he brings to his current work, you'll get a much better picture of who he is and the challenging work he spearheads at the Kresge Foundation.

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...
wall of stones

Poem: ms. margaret on her landline phone with ruth, talking about her new neighbors...

A poem engaging equity for the author's godmother and other women who begin their sentences with the word "chile."

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.
Public art in Pittsfield, Massachusetts: A utility box on a sidewalk is covered with interlocking hands in all the colors of the rainbow.

Could Public Art on Utility Boxes Displace Communication?

What's not to like about colorful art on utility boxes? Well, in some places that drab infrastructure might be performing informal community functions...
A sprawling white “hipster” is memorialized against a backdrop of romanticized visions of blight in a mural that dominates an intersection in the historically Black 7th Ward in New Orleans.

The Cultural Ramifications of Gentrification in New Orleans

Gentrification is not just physical displacement; it’s cultural appropriation across entire neighborhoods. Artists have an obligation not to participate.
men making guitar

Arts, Culture, and Community Mental Health

Examples of projects around the country that are infusing community development with creativity and collaboration and stimulating the potential for unique mental health benefits.
Three Minneapolis residents chat while sitting at a table outdoors.

Artists as Organizers

Creative placemaking means more than merely adding public art into the mix. To be sustainable it needs to build relationships—and power.
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...

Placemaking for, and by, Whom?

Place-Making in Legacy Cities: Opportunities and Good Practices, prepared by New Solution Group LLC in partnership with Center for Community Progress, December 2013.

Who Is It For?

A Washington, D.C. nonprofit undertakes a redevelopment project and tackles the issue of cultural displacement.