Creative Placemaking from the Community Up
You'll learn about:
Creative placemaking grounded in equity and racial justice that builds on local culture
Case studies in diverse urban and rural contexts in Arizona, California, Kentucky, New Jersey, and New York
Sharing tools and resources that have grown out of this work
The results of a national knowledge-building process, supported by the National Endowment for the Arts' Our Town program
The session explores creative placemaking that is grounded in values of equity, inclusion, racial justice, and mutual accountability, and that deepens belonging and strengthens civic engagement. Case studies from Newark, Los Angeles, NYC, Tucson, Oakland, and Kentucky (statewide) illustrate creative forms of participatory planning and community engagement. Our diverse group of presenters, all funded by the National Endowment for the Arts' Our Town program, will bring multiple perspectives, including arts and culture, planning, local government, and philanthropy. We will share lessons learned through coming together over this year on a collaborative inquiry about how arts and culture can be integral to anti-displacement strategies, health equity, racial justice, housing, and access to public space. We will discuss what we have learned about building effective partnerships and sustaining cross-sector collaborations, how to build upon and strengthen the cultural assets that already exist in communities, and how to fully engage artists in planning. You will leave with resources to inform your own work in integrating arts and culture, including: case studies, cultural asset mapping tools, creative methodologies for community engagement, questions to ask at the start of a planning process, and indicators to assess impact.
, Los Angeles
Confirmed SpeakerKaren Mack is Executive Director of LA Commons.
Confirmed SpeakerJudi Jennings directs the Special Project, artmaking with children of incarcerated parents to strengthen families in Louisville, KY. She earned a Ph.D. at University of KY and helped found and direct the Women’s Center at the University of Louisville. Jennings went on to lead the KY Foundation for Women, a private philanthropy funding feminist art for social change , until her retirement in 2016, Now, in addition to directing the Special Project, she researches, writes and advocates for arts and cultural equity in KY and across the nation.
, Hector LLC
Confirmed SpeakerDamon Rich is an urban designer, planner, and partner at Hector, an urban design, planning and civic arts studio whose recent projects have included designing a riverfront park, writing citywide zoning and land use regulations, and creating a memorial for an eco-feminist nun. As the Director of the Newark Planning Office (NPO) from 2008-2015, he worked to make New Jersey’s most populous municipality a prosperous, walkable, and environmentally just city. Under his leadership, NPO’s achievements included completing the city’s first riverfront parks, launching the Newark Public Art Program, and drafting the first comprehensive update to the city’s zoning regulations in over 50 years. He led award-winning planning and urban design projects including Newark’s River: Public Access & Redevelopment Plan, awarded a 2014 New Jersey Future Smart Growth Award, The Box & Beyond: Infill Housing for Newark, awarded the 2009 Outstanding Community Engagement and Education Award by the New Jersey Chapter of the American Planning Association, and Newark Riverfront Revival, the recipient of a Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Prior to coming to Newark, Damon founded the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), an internationally recognized nonprofit organization that uses art and design to increase meaningful civic engagement, where he served as Executive Director for 10 years. At CUP, Damon developed innovative models of community education, drawing on the tools of architecture to help people and organizations understand and improve the places where they live. He also served as Chief of Staff for Capital Projects at New York City Parks, where he led efforts of 200 architects, landscape architects, and engineers on over $400 million of investment in the city’s public spaces. Damon has taught architecture and planning at schools including Harvard University, Cooper Union, and Syracuse University, and has written about real estate and architecture for Perspecta, Metropolis, Architecture, and Domus among other publications. His first book, Street Value: Shopping, Planning, and Politics on Fulton Street was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2010. His design work represented the United States at the 2008 Venice Architecture Biennale, and has been exhibited internationally at venues including the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Netherlands Architecture Institute, and the MoMA PS1 Contemporary Art Center. In 2009, his solo exhibition Red Lines Housing Crisis Learning Center appeared at the Queens Museum. He is a Loeb Fellow in Advanced Environmental Studies at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, a MacDowell Colony Fellow, and a Fellow of the MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies. Damon is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and a licensed Professional Planner in the State of New Jersey.
, Naturally Occurring Cultural District NY (NOCD-NY)
Confirmed SpeakerCaron Atlas directs Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts NY (NOCD-NY) and Arts & Democracy, and teaches at Hunter College’s Roosevelt House and Pratt Institute’s Programs for Sustainable Planning & Development. Previously she worked at Appalshop, was director of American Festival Project, and consulted with Animating Democracy, Pratt Center for Community Development, Ford Foundation, and the Urban Institute. Caron is on the team creating NYC’s cultural plan and the steering committee for participatory budgeting in NYC. She is an alumnus of Coro’s Leadership NY and was a Rockefeller Foundation Warren Weaver Fellow. Caron has a BA and MA from University of Chicago.
, PolicyLink / Creative Ecology Partners
Confirmed SpeakerJeremy Liu is a community development strategist, social entrepreneur, real estate developer, and award-winning artist whose work has been exhibited in museums, art centers and at country’s oldest county fair. He led the strategic repositioning of a nationally-recognized community development corporation from a focus on housing production and service provision to a performance focus on the social determinants of health. He has also led or advised community, neighborhood and cultural planning efforts as a sponsor and consultant. With Hiroko KIKUCHI he co-founded Creative Ecology Partners, an art and design studio incubating economic and community development innovation, which developed the Creative Determinants of Health framework and created the National Bitter Melon Council, winner of the 2005 Artadia Award, to address social bitterness through the literal and poetic potential of Momordica charantia. As a Senior Fellow at PolicyLink, he is shaping and guiding a national initiative to integrate arts and culture into equitable development. Jeremy invents, samples, and remixes creative practices for equitable community development, from neighborhood film festivals to digital solutions for generating empathy and linguistic access; from real estate development to building social enterprises that create vital career ladders; and from artist-led community planning to adventurous campaigns for elected office that crack open leadership opportunities. He is a current and past board member of The Center for Neighborhood Technology, the Deputy Sheriffs’ Activities League, the New England Foundation for the Arts, and the Interaction Institute for Social Change.