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.

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.
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.?

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.

child painting

Art Matters–In Rural Classrooms and Beyond

Its surprising that we must continually fight to make sure that the arts have a role in public schools, and prove that our low-income communities are worthy of arts and culture-related investments.

A Radically Different Planning Process in Brownsville

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.
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.
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.

Albuquerque Artists Sustain Connection Despite Social Distancing

Placemaking is an inherently in-person practice, but it doesn’t always have to be. In Albuquerque, an exhibit was reimagined to highlight the work of local photographers, who captured striking images of life during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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,...