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.
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.
An organization embarks on a community-driven design process to transform two vacant row homes into a site for residents, artists, and law enforcement to collaborate on new public safety strategies rooted in care rather than control.
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.
With collaboration among Dallas' arts community, a place-based initiative called CultureBank invests in social impact artists in order to steward community assets to promote the health and well being of residents.
In a year-long program that included bike rides, serenades, and Dragtivist performances, an art collective guided Brownsville, Texas, residents in reimagining how they could influence equity and justice in their city.
CDCs now recognize that art and cultural activities can be useful tools toward building a community's identity, meaning, and spirit. But bank regulators have not yet reached a sufficient level of comfort with this new strategy.
The front porch is a space in-between our private family space and our more public spaces where we create our own definition of “community.” In many parts of Chicago, this space is often a battleground.
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.