What is Creative Placemaking?

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This whole conversation began as a means to talk about creative placemaking. What is it? What is its role and why should we care? We’ve spent the last few weeks hearing from our Creative Community Fellows and you. Today we want to wrap up the discussion by tackling the biggest question: what is creative placemaking? Amanda Thompson notes that the term creative placemaking acts as an inclusive phrase for a range of arts and culture activities that benefit communities: “Creative placemaking is a nice catch-all phrase that allows artists, … [Read more...]

Scott Burkholder & Ali Fadlallah: A Conversation

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This week we will be featuring conversations with leaders working in communities. Scott Burkholder is an entrepreneurial minded, art promoting engineer based in Baltimore. He oversaw the business side of the Baltimore Love Project, the largest self initiated public art project in Baltimore and is currently working on utilizing art as a tool to teach empathy. Inspired by his teaching experience as an eleventh grade English teacher with Teach for America, Ali Fadlallah merged his passions for music and arts education by founding Personality … [Read more...]

Placemaking: It’s About Addressing the Disconnect

This week continues our conversation on creative placemaking where we asked our Creative Community Fellows to talk about creative placemaking and what their role is as community-engaged artists. We discovered that for many of our Fellows, the work they do is about addressing the disconnect that exists not only within the communities in which they are currently working but across sectors and social boundaries. We found that many Fellows see their work as a means to bridge these divides. In their conversation, Rachel Reynolds Luster and Laurelin … [Read more...]

Nicolle Bennett & Sifiso Maposa: A Conversation

This week we will be featuring conversations with leaders working in communities. Nicolle Bennett, is currently working with an arts education and advocacy organization called Feel the Music! She is developing a technology platform for artists, community-based organizations and policymakers to connect in a more meaningful way. Sifiso Maposa is a social entrepreneur working in the culture and creative industries. Based in South Africa, she is creating a digital platform that connects the creative industries of Africa to each other and to global … [Read more...]

Julie Rada & Chris Webb: A Conversation

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This week we will be featuring conversations with leaders working in communities. Julie Rada is a contemporary performance director using art to create enrichment opportunities for prisoners in Arizona. Chris Webb, originally from Cleveland, Ohio is currently working as a poet, actor and public speaker in LA. Both are Creative Community Fellows. The following is a recounting of what they learned from their conversation. City with a C By Julie Rada I hold an image: of artists and neighbors painting their anger and resentment into a wall … [Read more...]

Placemaking: Bringing People Together

Connect. Connected. Connecting. Connection. Connector. This is what we heard when we asked our Creative Community Fellows and you to talk about creative placemaking. Many saw themselves as connectors of people, across divides and within them – sharing experiences to inspire and motivate. The idea of connection was frequently brought up when defining “community.” For many, and I know certainly for myself, community feels personal, it is almost synonymous with identity. It is a place where we feel we belong. We choose to identify in … [Read more...]

The Case for Cultural Fluency

WDET Cultural Fluency

In this excerpt from "The Case for Cultural Fluency," Mikel Ellcessor introduces the concept of Cultural Fluency as it can be applied by arts and culture leaders. You can read and download his full white paper here.  It’s déjà vu all over again. Picture this: you are in a meeting and you have been in this meeting many times. After another detailed mapping of the problem, someone takes a stab at a solution and says it: “We have to move beyond the current audience and into new audiences and communities.” This feels like success, right? … [Read more...]

A Framework for Meaningful Engagement

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Editor’s note: As part of our blog event for The Summit at Sundance, we have invited participants in The Chief Executive Program to frame each of our problems to solve. Here, John Wetenhall poses a series of questions for thinking about the problem: Engage users/customers/stakeholders as true collaborators in shaping an institution's agenda. Beyond any fiscal challenges that cultural organizations may face, the core of what we do involves a meaningful, resonant and personal relationship with every human being who engages with our form of … [Read more...]

Relinquishing Control

photo: Keith Winsten

Editor’s note: As part of our blog event for The Summit at Sundance, we have invited participants in The Chief Executive Program to frame each of our problems to solve. Here, Keith Winsten takes on the problem: Engage users/customers/stakeholders as true collaborators in shaping an institution's agenda. Across many types of experiences, from retail to food to leisure, consumers are demanding more and more customization.  And the rise of smart phones and other handheld digital media devices have made this customization available in real time. … [Read more...]

Committing to Engagement

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Editor’s note: Over the next two weeks, we’ll feature posts around the final convening of our Chief Executive Program, The Summit at Sundance. We invite you to participate in an online discussion of four major issues facing the cultural field. In this post, Theresa Remick introduces the third problem statement. Problem to solve: Engage users/customers/stakeholders as true collaborators in shaping an institution’s agenda. Customers are shifting from passive consumers to active collaborators, and many desire experiences designed for and … [Read more...]