Community Development

October 12, 2017 by admin
During the past two decades, cultural planning practice in the United States has fallen behind that in parts of the world where cultural plans are required in city general plans, broader definitions of culture have been adopted, more domains of city planning have been integrated, and theoretical debate has progressed further. In the United States there is neither a field of cultural planning nor of cultural planners. Read More...
October 11, 2017 by admin
“Is the stadium we passed going up or coming down?” asked Kristen Calhoun, ArtChangeUS founding program director. Suddenly the previously strained community meeting we were attending came alive. Kristen and I were in Detroit in July 2016 to plan ArtChangeUS REMAP: Detroit, and we had repeatedly driven by the mass of steel girders, not knowing if it represented Detroit’s past or future. Artist and activist Invincible ill Weaver had organized a series of gatherings for us to meet with grassroots cultural change makers. Read More...
October 11, 2017 by admin
From the author:This essay was in my head for a couple of years, especially after I was reunited with several childhood friends in an alumni group on Facebook. I started writing this piece off and on when, in early 2014, writer/editor Anna Clark asked if I would contribute a piece to an anthology that she was pulling together. Read More...
October 11, 2017 by admin
If there is in society a collective consciousness, then art is its imagination. Imagination is different from fantasy, which conjures up desires divorced from reality; imagination is creative problem solving that assesses what is available and re-creates it into something new, better, or self-satisfying. Detroit has been short on many things over the past fifty years — economic prosperity, functioning city services, racial justice, validation — but it is astonishingly long on imagination and creative problem solving. Read More...
March 9, 2017 by admin
As our country prepares for a Trump presidency, the issue of economic revitalization in rural American has much more urgency than eight months ago when I started collecting data for this work. Here is a sampling of headlines from coverage by the New York Times of the economic decline in the rust belt, or more specifically, coal country and Appalachian towns: “Trump’s Promises Will Be Hard to Keep, but Coal Country Has Faith” (Nov. 28, 2016); “A Bleak Outlook for Trump’s Promises to Coal Miners” (Nov. Read More...
March 8, 2017 by admin
What can you do when times are uncertain, and yet a clear opportunity to advance a collective agenda presents itself? Take action. Read More...
October 8, 2016 by admin
In 2015, Americans for the Arts partnered with the National Endowment for the Arts to conduct the Local Arts Agency Census, the most comprehensive survey of the local arts agency field ever conducted. Its purpose was to illuminate the ever-adapting role these organizations play in ensuring the arts have a vital presence in every community. What Is a Local Arts Agency? Read More...
October 8, 2016 by admin
I was lucky as a young artist, with the ink still drying on my BFA, to learn about working in the public art field through a Minneapolis-based CETA program in 1977. CETA (Comprehensive Employment Training Act) was a federal jobs program that included several arts initiatives around the country. As gallery director of City Art Productions — the name of the one-year program initiated by Melisande Charles at the Minneapolis Arts Commission — I got to organize exhibits of CETA artists at libraries, plazas, government centers, and parks throughout the city. Read More...
October 8, 2016 by admin
The first project for Artspace, a nonprofit organization that develops affordable spaces for artists, was in an area of Saint Paul, Minnesota, that was, if not depressed, at least neglected. Starting in the late 1980s, Artspace redeveloped a six-story warehouse into fifty-two live/work units for artists, plus office, studio, and commercial space for nonprofit arts organizations and other tenants. At the time, the Lowertown area of Saint Paul was home to a number of empty or underused warehouses. The Northern Warehouse Artists’ Cooperative opened in 1990. Read More...