Broadening Community Partnerships Through Creative Placemaking | eePRO @ NAAEE

The home of environmental education professional development

Broadening Community Partnerships Through Creative Placemaking

Join the Harbinger Consultancy and Suzanne Ishee—talented Broadway performer and director of the NJIT Hub for Creative Placemaking—for a three-session online course (plus optional Q&A with practitioners) to explore how to make the most of creativity in your community. Creative placemaking leverages arts and culture to engage, revitalize and reshape communities.

From rural to urban, municipalities and communities are addressing unprecedented challenges due to anxiety, unrest, and conflict created by the COVID-19 pandemic, political turmoil and economic slowdown. The impact of these current crises may be with us long into the future, and in many places, have highlighted or worsened long-standing issues. Healing our communities and finding ways to encourage harmony and collaboration among residents with diverse backgrounds and points of view will be key to the future success of our local economies and municipalities.

Creative Placemaking harnesses the power of arts and culture to allow for genuine public engagement. It is as much about “doing” as it is about planning, leveraging the power of diverse partnerships and hands-on participation to turn under-appreciated assets into focal points for a new community vitality. Whether focused on an art walk, temporary art display, community art classes, an art school, an artist residency, a community design process, mural project, outdoor theater, or another creative endeavor, the Creative Placemaking process adds arts and culture to your community and economic development toolkit.

Community spaces like streets, parks, buildings, facades, sidewalks, and vacant lots are the context for our shared life. These spaces can profoundly influence the strength and breadth of the bonds, trust and networks that underpin community resilience. These bonds become especially important in the face of uncertainties, disasters, and emergencies, but they are at the heart of how communities function even in the best of times. Identifying and creatively capitalizing on these underutilized assets can build this “social capital” and spark a new community spirit—boosting vitality, supporting economic recovery and growth, and getting people out, moving and connecting with each other—even in the time of COVID-19.

In this course, you will learn how to use the Creative Placemaking process to identify and leverage overlooked assets in your community, highlight and deepen your community’s unique character, integrate arts and culture into planning, expand participation for greater equity, and engage creativity and local knowledge to make your community a great place to live, work, play and visit.