All posts by Suzanne Ishee

Suzanne is President of the Center for Creative Placemaking and is a career theatre artist. She is multi-award honored theatre practitioner who applies her arts broadly through Creative Placemaking and real estate consulting. She is a member of the Creative Culture Task Force of Sustainable Jersey, the Scenic, Wild Delaware River Geotourism Initiative, co-chair of Together North Jersey's Livable Task Force, Morris Canal Redevelopment Working Group, Actors Equity Association and the Dramatist Guild.

Registration Open for the Exciting Jersey City Summit

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Dear Summiteers:

Of course you are… or would like to be.   There is a wonderful host of companies and individuals gathered to present at the upcoming JCS on Economic Development, Placemaking and Innovation… Will you be there?

In reviewing the schedule and program,  you will see there is a special emphasis regarding STEAM, ARTS, Economic Development, SID and Creative Culture, and not to mention Place-Based Transportation and more.

Please take the time to scroll through the details… enjoy and register.


Tourism, Transportation and Workforce Development


An unusual gathering takes place next Wednesday, March 23rd at Fairleigh Dickinson University. The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) and the New Jersey Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Talent Network (NJRHT) have combined forces to create a symposium on Continue reading Tourism, Transportation and Workforce Development

Join CCP at the NJ Land Conservation Rally, March 18th!


The annual conference presented by the New Jersey Conservation Foundation is just around the corner.  CCP is delighted to be presenting a Creative Placemaking workshop at this 20th Annual NJ Land Conservation Rally which focuses on”The Future of Land Conservation, the Next 20 Years.”

The CCP workshop, “Creative Placemaking: Connecting People, Land and Nature,” takes place during the afternoon where we will offer a fast-paced, informative and interactive session discussing the Creative Placemaking process:  what it is, how and why it works, and how it supports smart growth both economically and institutionally. We will also have a daylong presence in the Exhibit Hall.

Whether you  are a land conservation professional, government official, an educator, an environmental consultant, trail blazer, non-profit professional, community activist or a passionate steward of the land,  The NJ Land Conservation Rally offers 31 educational sessions from which to choose, an exciting keynote speaker and tremendous networking and information gathering opportunities in the Exhibit Hall.

You can learn more and register here!  We look forward to seeing you at the NJ Land Conservation Rally, 2016!





New Cultural Economy resource available.



Yesterday, the Monmouth County Division of Planning released a new report on the status of the cultural economy in the county and beyond.  “Measuring Monmouth County’s Creative Economy” features data on economic impact of the cultural sector and detailed examination of the cultural employee base.  The study team Continue reading New Cultural Economy resource available.

NJ Artists “Front and Center-Leading the Way”

Barnegat Lighthouse
Barnegat Lighthouse

Former National Endowment for the Arts Chair Rocco Landesmann is widely reputed for having fostered Creative Placemaking in the United States.  This community and economic planning approach had been practiced in Europe and Canada for years previous and Chairman Landesmann recognized its success in creating vibrant, re-vitalized, sustainable communities through intentional integration of arts and culture.  Creative Placemaking remains a cornerstone in the administration of the NEA’s current chair, Jane Chu.

Earlier this year, Jason Schupbach, NEA’s Director of Design, penned an article about the “Next 50 years of Creative Placemaking” (well worth a complete read).  In this post, Director Schupbach said that it is important “to find ways to have art-based community development practices embedded within non-arts sectors, and help the arts sector better understand community development.”

He goes on to state: “We know very few city-planning programs that teach arts-based strategies to students in the same way that they teach students the basics of transit, economic development, and real estate.  You could say the same for artists and arts managers–how many were taught anything about community organizing and engagement and/or urban and rural planning basics in school?”

Last Fall, the Center for Creative Placemaking convened a series of Think Tank sessions with NJ professional artists to explore this very idea.  We were fortunate to have the enthusiastic input of a diverse group of really smart-thinking artists from around our state:

Gianfranco Archimeded, Photographer and Director of Historic Preservation and cultural resource management for the City of Paterson

Nai-ni Chen, Founder/Director/Choreographer, Naini Chen Dance Company—Ft. Lee,

Susan Pelligrini, Video Artist—Producer/Director, Synergy Productions–Asbury Park

Maxine Roach, Grammy Award Winning Jazz Musician and violist, Current Broadway Orchestra contractor—Bloomfield

Olivia Robbins, Recent Architecture Major graduate from Howard University. Theatrical set designer and Americorps “Artist Liaison” for Valley Arts in Orange.

Elizabeth Sowell-Zak, Award winning Painter, Speaker, Artist Organizer—Long Branch

Larry Tobias, Theatre Artist Actor, Musician, Composer, Director, Writer, Producer—Montclair

Our ultimate goal was to make a case for professional artists as Creative Placemakers and to explore the training needed to qualify these individuals. We were pleased to see that we had been a bit “ahead of the curve” by the time Director Shupbach’s article appeared.

The purpose of the “Creative Placemaker Artists Forum” is to open our “think tank” conversations to a wider group of NJ artists.  We hope you will be able to join us on the evening of April 13th, from 6-9 PM at NJIT as we intend for our NJ artists to continue to be out in front in this professional development planning.

Creative Placemaker Artists Forum