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.

Gentrification Was the Killer in Oakland Fire

It’s usually hard to distinguish a victim of gentrification. Many people have a story of getting priced out of their neighborhoods, of being looked...

An Artist’s Way of Seeing: Community Engagement in Creative Placemaking

How are artists converting the power and creativity of art into community-led change?
A woman tells her story about life in Little Tokyo while someone holds an old photo of her and her coworkers.

Preserving the Character of Little Tokyo

In the wake of rapid gentrification, an organization in Los Angeles leverages the arts to celebrate a community's rich heritage and keep social equity as a priority. But what is the core character of Little Tokyo?
Mural on wall with faces of girls looking into the distance.

Art in the Face of Gentrification

Four representatives of New York City organizations discuss their employment of art and artists to empower residents in the face of gentrification.
people painting

Working Through Growing Pains in Artist/Community Developer Collaborations

At their roots, both the arts and community development amplify a people’s voice. And while this connection makes sense on paper, it can look a lot different in practice. We would like to share three insights from our work together that speak to the promise, and peril, of such collaboration.

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.
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...

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.
burlap with screenprinted words

The $9 Jar of Artisanal Pickles: Equity and Local Food

Sustainability is about thriving, not just surviving. We will not thrive if we are poorly paid martyrs to a good cause, and thus, in a healthy, diverse and vital food system, some of our efforts might need to be directed to those who can pay nine dollars for a jar of pickles.
Two people partake in the Healing Hands project.

Using Art to Create Community at a Clinic

Arts projects at a Minneapolis clinic created a natural connection between people who might not otherwise interact.
video in window

Regrets of an Accidental Placemaker

Had I unintentionally contributed to the gentrification of my neighborhood and other neighborhoods around Washington, D.C.?

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.
The New Breed Bass Band plays their trumpets.

Keeping Your Artists Close to Home

New Orleans relies on its artists as a core part of its economy. What can be done when those artists can no longer afford to call the city home?
A window sign that reads "poems."

Poem: “This Yes”

When the federal government required the mills of Cohoes to hire “colored” workers or lose war contracts, the mills relented but Cohoes maintained its segregation. Workers of color settled across the river in North Troy.
People gathered outdoors around a table.

We Need the Data—But Can’t Forget the People—in Creative Placemaking

However difficult, altering one’s viewpoint of a community is a crucial step, because creative placemaking’s overarching goal is to reach everyone where they are, and you can’t do that if you begin with a well thought-out plan in hand.

Who Is It For?

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

Interview with Richard Baron, CEO of McCormack Baron Salazar

It still surprises many people that Richard Baron, the CEO of one of the largest for-profit affordable housing developers, got his start in the field supporting public housing tenants in a rent strike.
Miracle on 42nd Street movie poster

Miracle on 42nd Street: A Tale of Artist Housing

The story behind a bold idea to create a subsidized housing community for artists in a New York City neighborhood.

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?

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...