Creative Placemaking

Witt Siasoco uses art to create home

If you take Twin Cities artist Witt Siasoco's extensive body of work as a whole, a common theme emerges: home. Not home as a physical place, or even a symbolic one – "Home is where the heart is," and…


World Dance Party

Are you looking to build connections between elders and young people? Do you want to strengthen ties between neighbors of different ethnicities? Do you want people to have a space to have fun and…


Digital Placemaking Sparks Human Connections in Denver

Working in large-scale public art in Denver has changed the way Ivar Zeile experiences other cities. "Whenever I travel, I'm always looking for the LED screens," he says. "In places like Minneapolis,…


Bringing People to Play in Urban Green Spaces

In 2013, Springboard for the Arts launched the Artist Organizers (AOs) pilot program as part of Irrigate’s artist-led community development. Supported by the Surdna Foundation, the pilot planted…


Making Home Where the Community Is

In 2013, Springboard for the Arts launched the Artist Organizers (AOs) pilot program as part of Irrigate’s artist-led community development. Supported by the Surdna Foundation, the pilot planted…


PearlDamour sees the way home in the stars over Milton, America

The North Star is how travelers have found their way home for thousands of years. Located on the handle of the Little Dipper, the most recognizable constellation in the sky, the North Star points…


Transforming the Kirkbride: Fergus Falls faces mental health issues & historic preservation with art

In Fergus Falls, Minnesota, one structure dominates the landscape more than any other. Spanning the length of eight football fields, the 700,000-square foot building with its red-tiled, turreted…


Rapping in Vacant Lots, Repping the Neighborhood

In 2013, Springboard for the Arts launched the Artist Organizers (AOs) pilot program as part of Irrigate’s artist-led community development. Supported by the Surdna Foundation, the pilot planted…


Collaboration at the Heart of Real Estate and Community Development

In 2013, Springboard for the Arts launched the Artist Organizers (AOs) pilot program as part of Irrigate’s artist-led community development. Supported by the Surdna Foundation, the pilot planted…


Ralph Henry Reese

City of Asylum/Pittsburgh offers writers in exile sanctuary alongside expansive creative placemaking

"Asylum" – A place offering protection and safety; a shelter.   “Silence is death. If you are silent you are dead, And if you speak you are dead, So speak and die.” –…


Adrienne Mackey

Swim Pony uses science-minded experimentation in artistic exploration

It might seem that science and the arts are at odds with each other – "left brain" vs. "right brain" thinking, facts and stats vs. thoughts and feelings, lab coats and calculators vs.…


Devon Akmon

Arab American National Museum is the first and only museum of its kind

The metro Detroit area is an area rich with cultural institutions that celebrate the heritage, history, legacy, and continued contributions of artistic, cultural, and intellectual…


Shannon Spurlock

Denver Urban Gardens: Growing a garden, growing a community

Denver Urban Gardens (DUG) has been serving the five-county area of Metro Denver for 30 years and manages about 150 community gardens.   "Our mission is to create community one…


The People's Creative Toolkit

Your story has to be told, and a lot of people have to listen. But how do you tell your story to get them to listen? And who is “them,” anyway? These are questions we have to address with every…


How artists helped keep 33 businesses in a Cleveland neighborhood open through construction chaos

This story is the first of THE REPLICATORS, a series highlighting artists and organizations that have used toolkits and programs offered on Creative Exchange to create new programming in their…


Photography & Participation: How Photovoice Engages and Rebuilds Communities

What is the role of photography in community engagement? How can increased engagement lead to effective community rebuilding and development? Photovoice, a participatory research process, provides…


From the Ground Up - Shaping the New Rural Narrative Through Arts and Community

Even if you have not spent a lot of time in a rural community, you’re probably familiar with at least one of the common narratives of small town America. One paints a bleak landscape of “brain…


Little Free Library has big ambitions for literacy & public art

If your neighborhood is home to a Little Free Library, you might be lulled into thinking that it’s been there forever — or for several decades, at least. The small sidewalk libraries’ “take a book,…


Belonging: A Cornerstone of Placemaking in the Region

It is precisely because artists recognize the vision that precedes the creation of a work that emerges from a place we cannot locate or name, a place of mystery, that we stand before creation in awe.…


Valuing Artists, In All Senses of the Word

You may have read that the rise of the creative entrepreneur is leading to the death of the artist. That’s not our experience. We’ve had the pleasure of meeting and working with people in communities…


Open-air Social Dance Series

"How come there is no public dancing in Chicago?" That was the question in 1997 that prompted the creation of the first SummerDance, an outdoor, public, free dance series in parks in Chicago. Since…


Recovering the Story: How Arts Contribute to Emergency Recovery and Resilience

How does storytelling help individuals and communities overcome disaster? East Coast Hurricane Sandy survivors became storytellers through Sandy Storyline, a participatory documentary that collects…


Hunter Franks: Reflections on the 2014 Creative Interventions Tour

“My parents said if you have a boy he will wrestle; that is what he will do,” Lisa remarked, referring to her son Martaz. I had just met Martaz and Lisa a week before, as they participated in my…


How can a designed civic plaza and public art increase downtown activity in a small, rural city?

These stories are brought to you by a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the NEA’s Our Town program. Driggs, a small mountain town in Eastern Idaho, is set amidst the scenic…


November Creative Exchange Hangout Recap & Video

On November 20th, just before Thanksgiving, we hosted a conversation with the creators of two of the community-oriented toolkits hosted on Creative Exchange. Jun-Li Wang, Artist…


How can the arts be used to turn uninviting, downtown space into vibrant, active public space?

These stories are brought to you by a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the NEA’s Our Town program. Situated on the banks of the Pearl River, Jackson is Mississippi’s state…


How can public art be used to give new life to aging infrastructure and build connections?

These stories are brought to you by a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the NEA’s Our Town program. Like so many American cities, Greensboro, North Carolina is in the midst of…


How can students' ideas about art come to inspire an entire city neighborhood?

These stories are brought to you by a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the NEA’s Our Town program. With over 160,000 residents, Sioux Falls is South Dakota’s largest city, and…


How storytelling heals and strengthens communities

In April of 2014, Damian Woetzel and the Aspen Institute Arts Program convened a Strategy Group in Detroit. This convening brought together local and national experts: artists and leaders in arts,…


How place and cultural assets can come to define a community's long-term goals for revitalization

These stories are brought to you by a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the NEA’s Our Town program. Most Angelenos perceive Willowbrook and the adjacent communities of Watts…