The Power of Creative Placemaking: "Artists keep, make, and transform meaning"
In the first of a series of essays celebrating the tenth anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts’ creative placemaking grants program, Our Town, Lyz Crane, deputy director of ArtPlace America, reflects on the power of arts and culture to transform community development and how "artists keep, make, and transform meaning".
"The growth of creative placemaking as a serious practice is not just about how many creative placemaking projects happen in the world—it is also about how we shift the relationships between and operating systems of artists, arts organizations, and the field of community development," Crane writes.
Crane emphasizes that creative placemaking "isn’t just a passing trend, and it isn’t just happening in the arts sector."
It is taking hold both in community development organizations and in the systems that serve them. Major national community development agencies that drive conversations about national best practices are making deep investments to ensure that arts and culture become a part of community development long into the future. (...) Now imagine the possibilities in a world where all community development begins with the visions and values of artists, culture-bearers, and our collective creativity rather than having to figure out how to include them down the line.
Image: Avel Chuklanov / Unsplash