Tag Archives: arts

How’s the job market for Creative Placemakers?

In a quick check-in yesterday on one of the popular job search sites; I noted that there were 43 job openings for those with knowledge, skills and experience in Creative Placemaking.  Now 43 job openings on a particular day may not seem like much of a statistic to support the contention that the Creative Placemaking field of practice is growing, however, I conducted this same quick check-in exactly a year ago.  At that time, there were only 4 such job openings.  Viewed this way, it’s a 975% increase in a year’s time!

Furthermore, I was impressed by the multiple professional sectors which sought Creative Placemakers.  Look at how diverse these job titles are:  Senior interior designer and space planner; Landscape Architecture designer; Neighborhood Organizer; Environmental Manager; Regional Planner; VP of Real Estate and Community Development; Experiential Designer; Corridor Revitalization Coordinator; Parks Program Director; Community Arts Manager; Project Designer; Court Coordinator of Placemaking and Workforce Development; Smart World Coordinator; Senior Urban Planner; Economic and Demographic Analyst; Transportation Coordinator;  Assistant Director; Housing & Local Planning; Assistant Professor in Community Development Planning; Senior Land Use Planner; Studio Director; Urban Design and Planning Project Associate; Strategic Initiatives Advisor; Director of Experience; Assistant Director for Arts Programming; Events Director; Program Manager – Cool Schools Community Parks; Foundation Program Officer; Development and Communications Manager; Community Arts Intern; Community Coordinator VISTA.

None of this is likely to be surprising information for those of us who are practitioners in the field.  However, it is supportive statistical proof that there is a growing desire for professionals educated in the field as well as a growing recognition among increasing sectors of the value of Creative Placemaking professionals.

 

Are you ready to add “Creative Placemaker” to your career skillsets?

Join our Spring Certificate course at NJIT!

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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.

 

 

New Jersey-Meet your newly Certified Creative Placemakers!

From the time I was in elementary school, my favorite time of the year was ‘class photo” day!  I loved these portraits of my fellow classmates and our teacher taken near the end of the school year, and I still have a number of them in my photo albums.  They make me smile every time I look at them and I continually challenge myself to see how many  names I remember.

My all-time favorite photo in my collection, however, will be the one you see here.  I won’t ever forget the names of these people and neither should you!

Bottom L-R, Gillian Sargeant-Allen, Tamara Contreras, Me (Lead faculty), Kaitlin Bundy
Top L-R-Susan Lazzari, Stephanie Neal, Pamela Daniels, Colette Santasieri (Core Faculty), Mark Cheatam

Nothing has given me more pride than to award certificates for successful completion of our rigorous course of study and launch of their individually designed local community initiatives.  I am honored to have had the opportunity to work with these extraordinarily dedicated and committed individuals who are already “doing New Jersey proud!”  In coming weeks, we will showcase the creativity and passion as change-agents through the diverse initiatives that they are undertaking.

In meantime, I hope you will  join me in saying “BRAVO” to these community champions.  They are ready to lead Creative Placemaking efforts in localities across our state and beyond!

Suzanne

Tourism, Transportation and Workforce Development

NJRHT

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

THE NEA Reports and Real Estate — What does one have to do with the other?

Several weeks ago, the National Endowment for the Arts presented 3 new reports that detail metrics and qualifiers which focus on;

1) which populations are engaging with what types of arts and the impacts arts engagement have on our lives

2) why people choose or do not choose to participate

3) revised estimates measuring the total dollar amount that arts contribute to the economy, written in conjunction with the Department of Commerce-Bureau of Economic Analysis.

So, how does any of this data inform our local housing and commercial economies? How does an examination of social behavior guide our planning?

Starting with the third report, there are interesting discoveries regarding the percentage impacts on the GDP and GDP percentages of the Arts and Culture market. If we look at the NEA/DOC statistics from 2012, the last year for which reliable estimates are available, we see that the production of arts and cultural goods contributed $698 billion to the US economy amounting to 4.32% of the overall GDP. Breaking this down and spotlighting a few of the industries, the broadcasting and motion picture and video industries contributed a total of $121 and $95 billion respectively and the performing arts and independent artists contributed another $35 billion. The design service industry (interior, graphic, architectural, landscape architecture, etc.) added $11.6 billion to our economy.

Now looking at the Real Estate industry, we see that the housing sector alone contributes 15.24% to the GDP. New Commercial Real Estate construction, contributes another 2.7%. If we were to take the NEA/DOC arts contribution report by itself without the findings of the other two reports, we likely would not see any particular correlation between the real estate and arts and cultural sectors.  However, adding the findings of why people choose or not to participate in the arts and culture and the impact or converse lack of impact the engagement has on their lives, we begin to see quite a different relationship.

Arts and culture organizations and engagement impact the overall economy in ways unlike almost any other industry. These activities induce large amounts of related spending by their audiences and participants. For example, a family goes to a concert, eats at a nearby restaurant prior, perhaps gets ice cream after and often will stay the night in an area hotel. Or perhaps, a child begins dance lessons. His parents buy his tap shoes at a local store, his dancewear at another, his performance costumes at another. He might need to have music composed or arranged. His performances may require travel or, at very least, would cause others to travel to see them.

One might argue that the same correlative examples could be made for sports and you would get no rebuttal from me. I happen to include “sports” under the umbrella of “culture.” Many arts and culture purists might rail against this inclusion, but I would hasten to answer that the above simple examples tell only part of the story.

Robert Lynch, President of Americans for the Arts, says this about the economic impact and value of the arts and culture: “They foster beauty, creativity, originality, and vitality. The arts inspire us, sooth us, provoke us, involve us, and connect us. But they also create jobs and contribute to the economy.”

In the field of Creative Placemaking, we talk about the “ripple effect” that arts and culture spending have on the overall economy. It boosts both commodities and jobs. For example, for every 100 jobs created from new demand for the arts, 62 additional jobs are also created. And demand for arts and culture include shifts in government spending on museums, parks, and libraries; the construction of new performing arts centers; and changes in exports of arts and cultural services.

The same can be said about the shift in private spending. “Having an abundance of unique arts and events means more revenue for local businesses and makes our communities more attractive to young, talented professionals—whose decisions on where to start a career or business are increasingly driven by quality of life and the availability of cultural amenities” according to Bart Peterson, President, National League of Cities.

Herein lies one basis for the correlation between the Arts and Cultural industry and the Real Estate industry. But when we look at the “ripple effect” through the lens of social outcomes for those who participate in arts and cultural activities, we find an entirely new set of compelling positive indicators. There is a great deal of focus these days on the “cultural ecology” — taking a holistic viewpoint and looking at the interconnectedness of community, social and economic development indicators and outcomes.

The NEA reports indicate that 73% of people who attend the arts go to socialize. 63% go to learn and 62% go to experience. Many sociology studies have found that residential stability also strengthens social ties with neighbors. A higher overall quality of life among homeowners is believed to contribute to the well-being of both homeowners and their children. Studies indicate that young children of homeowners tend to have higher levels of achievement in math and reading and fewer behavioral problems.

The research done by the National Association of Realtors that compares social outcomes between renters and homeowners is stark in contrasts. Homeowners move far less frequently than renters, and hence are embedded into the same neighborhood and community for a longer period. While 4.7 % of owner-occupied residents moved from 2010 to 2011, 26 % of renters changed residential location.

Academic achievement in reading and math performance of children ages three to twelve is significantly impacted by home environment, neighborhood quality and residential stability.   Research by Thomas P.Boehm and Alan Schlottmann, for Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, shows that the average child of homeowners is significantly more likely to achieve a higher level of education and, thereby, a higher level of earnings. The authors further find the housing tenure of parents plays a primary role in determining whether or not the child becomes a homeowner.

The NEA reports support the conventional wisdom that education and income are widely recognized as key predictors of adult arts attendance. 6% of individuals holding bachelor’s or higher degrees reported having attended at least one art exhibit or performance in the past year, and 45% attended at least one of each. By contrast, only 23% of individuals with no high school diploma or GED certificate attended arts of any type.

In addition, numerous studies show that parents with bachelor’s or higher degrees are more likely to ensure access to formal arts education, to take their children to arts events, and to encourage their children’s participation in arts activities. Not surprisingly, social isolation, poor health and lack of access are reported as barriers to arts attendance and participation.

The NAR report further indicates that homeowners tend to be more involved in their communities than renters. For example, homeowners were found to be more politically active than renters. Homeowners participate in elections much more frequently than renters. The study found that simply owning a home increases the number of hours volunteered with no variance between low value and high-value homeowners.

The authors argue that homeowners have a stake in the community given that home is a unique investment where the asset is tied to a fixed geographical location. Consequently the value of the property is determined by the condition of the neighborhood in which it is located and the social institutions that serve its residents. Many sociology studies have found that residential stability strengthens social ties with neighbors. Findings reveal that individuals select the people with whom they form social relationships within a social space that facilitates routine interaction with others. This kind of thinking is a cornerstone of Creative Placemaking planning.

In a recent Huffington Post interview, noted economist, Jeremy Rifken, said: “…we are beginning to see that a mass surge of employment is migrating out of the market and into the social economy, the not-for-profit economy, where human social capital counts more than economic capital. Machines are subsidiary in this sector because they can’t care for children or the elderly for example….The social economy is the fastest growing employment sector in the world right now.”

All around us there is mounting evidence that the “top-down” approach to decision-making is falling short of meeting our basic human needs and desires for social engagement.  The data is compelling and thought leadership and practice is beginning to reflect the community, social and economic value derived from deliberative interdependent planning. Developers, planners, and cultural leaders are finding that success lies in creating live/work/play spaces.

What do arts and culture have to do with real estate? Examined together, they can walk hand-in-hand to inform decision-makers on how to create communities of vibrancy, resiliency, and socially-engaged citizens–places where people actually want to live their lives.

Dodge Foundation’s President writes about Creative Placemaking

The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation’s president, Chris Daggett recently wrote this about creative placemaking in the state:

Arts can bring a community many benefits, from fostering local pride to creating opportunities for recreation or even mitigating cultural or racial tensions.

But the arts can also serve as a powerful economic engine, bringing needed jobs and dollars into communities.

 

We agree, and we’re glad to support this important work in New Jersey!

(Image courtesy of GlassRoots – a community mosaic made by students in East Orange!)