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!
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:
What comes first, the chicken or the egg? In a rapidly growing era of new job creation, one could argue that it is often the chicken which comes first. At least as far as new job creation in the field of Creative Placemaking, we can make this case. The term “Creative Placemaking,” coined by former Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, Rocco Landesman, was used to define a longstanding practice of utilizing the arts and culture to help revitalize communities. Landesman became the “promoter-in-chief” of Creative Placemaking in 2010 by commissioning Ann Markusen and Anne Gadwa to write a white paper for the Mayor’s Institute on City Design. The paper defined the term and was a seminal work in making a strong case for adoption of the practice.
According to the authors of the paper, “Creative placemaking animates public and private spaces, rejuvenates structures and streetscapes, improves local business viability and public safety, and brings diverse people together to celebrate, inspire, and be inspired.” Landesman wisely set forth to create a funding mechanism for the practice separate from dependence on federal funding. Instead, he brought together the leading executives from a dozen foundations Kresge, Surdna, Mellon, Irvine, Knight, McKnight, Bloomberg and others – to partner in this pioneering work. Luis Ubiñas of the Ford Foundation was the first chair to drive the collaboration, resulting in the creation of ArtPlace America.
From our nation’s largest urban centers to the most quaint hamlets, in these relatively short eight years, the scope and practice of Creative Placemaking has grown faster and, I imagine, far beyond what even the early dreamers could have envisioned. Over the years, as the field has spread across sectors of planning, engineering, technology, health, sustainability, governance, community and economic development, and further, the practice has been redefined and refined.
Professionals from all of these sectors are locally engaged in one or more aspects of their creative community planning primarily through volunteerism, as jobbers or within the capacity of their current job mandates. Yet their resumes do not reflect recognition of professional expertise in the field. Perhaps in a CV, one can expand on a description of their experience, but in the format of a resume, one cannot identify themselves as “Creative Placemaker” without accompanying professional certification.
Why is “now” the right time for an institution of higher education to offer this professional Creative Placemaker certification? Simply put, recent job openings describe Continue reading Why is NOW the right time?
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.
Join Center for Creative Placemaking’s VP Stuart Koperweis in Jersey City on March 5:
Morning Keynote: The Future of Jersey City: The City’s Vision for Development and Economic Growth
Hear From: Marcos D. Vigil, Deputy Mayor, City of Jersey City
Interview with: Stuart Koperweis, Vice President, Center for Creative Placemaking and Millennium Strategies, LLC
* How will Jersey City’s economy benefit from a re-surging Downtown Manhattan?
* What are the factors driving economic growth in Jersey City?
* What is the current Jersey City administration’s vision of new development and re-positioning of assets?
* How are the arts connecting commercial real estate development/redevelopment and housing?
* What are the unique public-private JVs underway in support of this?
New Jersey Future’s Redevelopment Forum is a daylong conference that brings together more than 500 municipal and state leaders and leading professionals in planning, development, law, transportation, architecture, construction, environmental conservation and historic preservation to share best practices and lessons learned. Tickets are $110 for New Jersey Future members, municipal employees and non-profits and $150 for non-members until February 20 (after February 20 tickets are $155 for members and $190 for non-members). Register Now at forum.njfuture.org! Questions: contact Lauren Bolline at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-393-0008, ext. 107.