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.

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...
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...

Conflict and Placemaking: Tactical Urbanism on Nicollet Mall

Earlier this year, the City of Minneapolis broke ground on a $50 million overhaul of Nicollet Mall, a 12-block centerpiece of its downtown. Like...

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.

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...

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.
A smiling African-American man in a baseball cap sits at a table in a social lounge type room with other people in the background.

Keeping Seniors Healthy by Fostering Connections and Community

For high needs seniors with chronic illnesses, health is not merely—or even mostly—a matter for medical professionals.
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.

Ballin’ at the Graveyard

The documentary Ballin’ at the Graveyard looks at the hardball culture and strong supportive ties between players that have brought two generations of men...

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.

Unlikely Poets / Guerrilla Haiku Movement / Sharing The Sidewalk

We hailed down a police car in Orange, N.J., and Police Director John Rappaport pulled over. We explained our situation. He thought for a...
A building in East Oakland with colorful murals painted on the wall. A graffitied fence is to the right of the building.

Urban Art or Graffiti Vandalism?

Review of Stations of the Elevated, by Manfred Kirchheimer, 1981.
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.
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.
Man with a cane stands at the top of set of stairs in a park .

Poem: “Gentrification”

I have seen a neighborhood eat itself for dinner
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.

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.

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.

Not Your Average Community Garden

A good community garden is a space that nurtures hope, natural abundance, and growth, and eventually moves beyond food and into the realm of relationship-building that can help sustain healthy communities.
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?