Category Archives: Inspiration

Creating Healthy Communities

 

The white paper has been published!

For the past 2 years, the University of Florida Center for Arts in Medicine through the support of ArtPlace America and the Pabst Steinmetz Foundation has been engaged in a Creating Healthy Communities: Arts + Public Health in America initiative.  The results of that outstanding effort are put forth in a the newly published white paper.

Aligned with my work at NJIT, I was privileged to be invited to participate in the first working group convening at the University of Cincinnati in June, 2018.  ArtPlace America and UFCAM brought together leaders and academicians from public and private institutions, organizations, and agencies for 2 days of stimulative conversation, sharing, deliberation and planning.  (If you are interested in my short presentation highlighting a meaningful project which addressed the lead in water crisis in Flint, MI please request here.  This outstanding example of cooperation through a rich cross state/artists/municipality/technology collaboration resulted in awareness-raising, advocacy and local small business support).

From the authors of the white paper:

The Creating Healthy Communities through Cross-sector Collaboration white paper presents the views of more than 250 thought leaders from the public health, arts and culture, and community development sectors who were convened in working groups in 2018 and 2019. Their voices are joined by over 500 participants in a national field survey and focus groups, and are supported by findings of a scoping review of arts + public health literature.

With the public health sector as a primary intended audience, the Creating Healthy Communities through Cross-sector Collaboration white paper frames the value of the arts and culture for advancing health and well-being in communities. It offers examples and recommendations for expanding cross-sector collaboration and innovation, with the following goals:

  • Advance collaboration among those working at the intersections of art and culture, public health, and community development
  • Stimulate upstream interventions—aimed at systems, cultures, and policies—that reduce barriers to health and well-being
  • Assert the value of arts and culture for increasing health, wellbeing, and equity in communities
  • Foster transformative social change that advances health and wellbeing

This paper is also intended to offer value and guidance to community development, arts and culture, and other allied health sectors by providing examples of impactful cross-sector collaborations that engage arts and culture to address five critical public health issues: collective trauma, racism, social isolation and exclusion, mental health, and chronic disease. These concrete examples inform the paper’s recommendations and call to action, which assert the value of the arts and culture for community health transformation, and for advancing the culture of health being envisioned today.

Download the Creating Healthy Communities through Cross-Sector Collaboration white paper here.

 

 

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Spotlight on NJ’s Creative Placemakers

We are so proud of the exciting work that our Certified Creative Placemakers have been doing since their NJIT graduation in February that we have decided to share details about them with you!

Over the next few weeks, we will  put a spotlight on these change makers.  We will focus our lens on one of our graduates so that you can have a look at the individual ways their  local leadership integrates arts and culture into community, social and economic development planning and implementation activities.

Meet Tamara Contreras!

Tamara is leading organization of her community in Franklin Borough, Sussex County as  neighbors begin to undertake the revitalization of their historic downtown.  She is also helping to foster community pride through education and celebration of the borough’s rich history and many existing assets.  Her efforts are supported by the North Jersey Health Collaborative.

(Be sure to also click on a second video to enjoy more details about Tamara’s work with ‘Forward Franklin’!)

If you are interested in learning more about our upcoming class or for registration, click here.  For further questions, contact us!

 

 

 

Is Creative Placemaking a good fit for Opportunity Zone planning?

 

Recently, through approval by the General Assembly and Governor Murphy, 169 census tracts in New Jersey were designated Opportunity Zones (OZs).  The identified OZs are located in municipalities across the state.  These are areas where the state would like to direct growth and that have some market potential to attract the kind of private investments that will help these communities become less distressed over time.

In “The Hill.com,” John Lettieri and Steve Glickman of the Economic Innovation Group opine that Local leadership is key for successful Opportunity Zones

The primary goal of Opportunity Zones is to encourage long-term equity investments in struggling communities, many of which have been excluded from the benefits of the national economic expansion in recent years. The recent stock market boom and prolonged period of record corporate profitability have resulted in a massive stockpile of unrealized capital gains wealth — over $6 trillion in corporate and individual holdings as of the end of 2017, according to our analysis of Federal Reserve data.

Because of Opportunity Zones, investors are now incentivized to reinvest those dollars into capital-starved, low-income communities. And, because investors are exclusively using their own capital without any up-front subsidy, there is no cap on how much capital can be put to work rebuilding communities. It is a nationally scalable incentive.

 

NJ Future recently analyzed existing data for the 169 NJ opportunity zones and found some interesting statistics:

Continue reading Is Creative Placemaking a good fit for Opportunity Zone planning?

Jersey City Cultural Leader: Public Art Specialist, Duda Penteado

After settling in Jersey City from Brazil, Duda Penteado’s story is a very personal one. As a fine artist living in Jersey City during the 9/11 attacks and America in it’s aftermath, Duda made a large body of celebrated works of art reflecting these events. From museum installations to memorials made of actual steel from the Twin Towers, his art looks at this difficult piece of history through the eye of someone who experienced it from a very close distance. Learn about his process and why Jersey City is his home.

Artists Define Creative Placemaking

A planning colleague recently posted a question asking if anyone else was encountering some confusion between the concept of placemaking and its distinction from Creative Placemaking.  Because of this very issue, the Board at Center for Creative Placemaking (CCP) has spent the better part of five years, three of which as the former Arts Builds Community Board at Rutgers University, in making a CASE for creative placemaking in New Jersey.  The CCP team has spent countless hours discussing how to bring the merits and values of our CASE (Community Development, Arts, Social Equity, and Economic Development) to the communities, organizations, and leaders that could benefit from this approach.  Getting our message out has been a labor of passion and determination that began long before CCP’s inception.  The team’s transition from ABC to CCP has opened many more possibilities for the practice of Creative Placemaking to take hold in the state, expanding the work we began as ABC by placing a stronger emphasis on issues of social equity and the role of the artist as benefactors and leaders in the creative placemaking movement.

Our distinct approach has been validated twofold in recent weeks.  The first was the success of the CCP Forum for Professional Artists and Graduate Art and Design students facilitated by NJIT on April 13, 2015.  At this event, CCP trained artists led concurrent peer to peer learning sessions that engaged other artists in a discussion about how their unique skill sets can be applied to Creative Placemaking practices.  After the peer to peer lessons concluded, all attendees reconvened to learn about incorporating concepts and principles of Creative Placemaking into transit oriented development.  This discussion was led by Colette Santasieri, PhD., Director of Strategic Initiatives, NJ Innovation Institute/ NJ Institute of Technology.  The evening ended with an open forum for questions and answers.  CCP intends to follow-up with attendees through a survey that will help our organization evaluate the effectiveness of the training as well as advance further dialogue with these key community stakeholders.

The second validation came in the form of a New York Times article published on April 28, 2015 entitled, “Council Set to Create a Cultural Plan for New York City.”   The article goes on to describe how New York City is joining other major metropolitan US cities such as Chicago, Houston, and Denver in creating its first comprehensive cultural plan.  The City Council voted 49 to 0 on the measure, and the new plan will be used to assess cultural accessibility in neighborhoods and, “study the condition of arts organizations and artist, and plan how the city will remain artist-friendly…”   The plan will include outreach in the five borough to arts groups to help identify their needs and incorporate them into a plan.  As stated in the Times, the plan will study arts education, incorporate culture into community and economic development.

Although others may see only the need to bring planners, community organizers, developers, government officials and residents to the table, CCP continues to advocate for the inclusion of artists in all Creative Placemaking endeavors.  CCP is redirecting the conversation about the role of artists in Creative Placemaking as voice for, and the recipients of social equity in the process.  This principle, in and of itself, distinguishes Creative Placemaking from placemaking.  The creative dividend sought by communities undertaking Creative Placemaking activities can never fully be reached without the continual inclusion and presence of artists.