You are not alone.

Hello! We’re so glad you’re here. Creative Exchange is a platform sharing artful ideas for stronger communities. Creative Exchange is the national program of Springboard for the Arts, an artist-led nonprofit based in Minnesota. On this platform we share stories of artists and their impact in community, and free, practical toolkits for artist-engaged programs, from professional development to creative placemaking to fun projects to bring people together. By freely sharing our work and creating connections among artists and communities, we work to make substantial, system-wide change.

We believe that sharing stories connects and inspires people. We want to share a narrative about the value and creative power of artists. We want to share the successes, strategies and challenges that artists and communities have when working together. And we want to tell stories at all scales, from the artists creating small moments of surprise on their block to the large-scale cross-sector creative partnerships. Find those stories in our profiles of Artists with Impact, and broader explorations in our Special Features.

We believe that we can do more when we share more. Across the country, artists, arts organizations, businesses and governments are doing creative, expansive work that is shaping the world we live in. We collect and share practical, proven resources for these creative projects so that you can spark change in your community. Replicate a program like Community Supported Art directly, or use a toolkit as a way to start a conversation with partners. Browse them all, and get your free resources on the Toolkits page.

We want people to be connected. A major part of the work of Creative Exchange is to remind you that you are not alone. We share stories and toolkits freely, and you can too. Connect to other readers on our Facebook and Twitter feeds, reach out to the artists you read about, and sign up for our email list. We also host in-person convenings called IdeaLabs and are regular speakers across the country, so keep an eye out for us! You can always drop a line at

If you are more of a hands-on person, and less of an online interactor, you can hold Creative Exchange in your own hands with our collection Field Notes from Creative Exchange, published in March 2016 to celebrate 2 years of storytelling and resource sharing. You can buy a copy of Field Notes from Creative Exchange, or view it as a PDF.


Creative Exchange is the national program of Springboard for the Arts, and receives key funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Kresge Foundation and the Surdna Foundation. Additional support and content partnerships come from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, and the Aspen Institute Arts Program.

Creative Exchange works with writers, photographers and artists across the country to produce our content. To share your work, or suggest an artist for coverage, email

Creative Exchange staff
Carl Atiya Swanson, Associate Director, Springboard for the Arts


Media Coverage Highlights:

Business Journals: 5 tips for making a living (and a life) in the arts
June 24, 2016

ArtsHacker: Your Guide To Great Community Project Guides
June 8, 2016

Co.Exist: These Toolkits For Artists Teach How To Build Community Through Art
May 20, 2016

Hyperallergic: Creative Exchange Mobilizes Artists to Solve Local Challenges with Stories and Free Toolkits
May 10, 2016

Young Upstarts: 5 Ways Artists Can Work Like Entrepreneurs
April 29, 2016

Music Connection Tip Jar: 8 Ways Musicians Can Work Like an Entrepreneur
February 29, 2016

Stanford Social innovation Review: Creating a Sharing Economy that Actually Shares
February 8, 2016

Metro: Why artists need to be entrepreneurs
January 18, 2016

Dance Magazine: Got a Career-Related Resolution? Here’s Free Expert Help
December 24, 2015

Music Connection: Free Toolkit and Video Series Dedicated to Artists’ Careers 
December 15, 2015

The Dance Enthusiast: Free WORK OF ART Program Designed to Help Dancers Build Entrepreneurial Skills
December 15, 2015

Forbes: How Entrepreneurship Can Save The Starving Artist
December 18, 2015

Creative Bloq: 5 steps to a successful creative career
December 14, 2015

Photo District News: Free Toolkit and Video Series Provide Business Education for Artists
December 14, 2015

WESA: Arts Council Selected To Join National Cultural Think Tank
September 8, 2015

DIY Network-Made + Remade: Making Good: CSA Swaps the Veggies for Art

September 4, 2015

The Line: The Line and Creative Exchange present “Creating Community” on September 16
August 25, 2015

Food Republic: How The Food World Inspired A New Market For Art
August 20, 2015

Bmore Art: How Arts Build Community
June 11, 2015

Inquisitr: CSA Becomes More Creative – Crates of Locally-Made Art Now Delivered To Subscribers
June 6, 2015

Quartz: Forget kale—CSAs across America are delivering crates of locally-made art
June 3, 2015

Ravishly: Ladies we Love: Laura Zabel 
May 20, 2015

The Guardian: Six creative ways artists can improve communities 
February 12, 2015

The Art Newspaper: Bloomberg earmarks $3m for public art
December 2014

BETTER! CITIES & TOWNS: Creative Exchange focuses on arts and placemaking
Nov/Dec 2014

Human Transit: Mitigating construction impacts through placemaking in St Paul
December 22, 2014

Next City: Art Can Cure Construction Headaches
November 20, 2014

Shareable: 5 Proven Strategies to Support Art in Your City
October 22, 2014

CitiScope: Two new initiatives aim to promote art in cities
October 17, 2014

Press Releases:

New Creative Placemaking Toolkit for Business Districts
January 11, 2017

From Galleries to Bike Racks, 5 New Toolkits from Creative Exchange
August 10, 2016

Springboard for the Arts Announces Work of Art: Business Skills for Artists Toolkit
December 14, 2016

Successful Minnesota Program That Helps Communities Connect Artists With Local Healthcare Providers To Expand Nationally With Launch OF Free Toolkit
April 16, 2015

Creative Exchange Launches With Free Tools Empowering Communities And Artists To Replicate Innovative Civic And Economic Development Projects
October 14, 2014