Participatory Art

Alex Cruz

Charlotte Arts Center promotes inclusion, independence and growth for resident artists

The Charlotte Arts Center offers adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities a means of creative expression, integrating with the community, and even earning some income. "We look at what…


The Mothership

O.N.E. Mile project hopes to bring new model of revitalization to Detroit's North End

When the Oakland North End (O.N.E.) Mile Project arrived in Detroit, the revitalization concept landed seemingly from outer space—on a "Mothership," explains designer Anya Sirota, director of the…


Ashley Hanson and Andrew Gaylord

PlaceBase Productions builds rural communities through participatory theatre

Ashley Hanson grew up spending much of her childhood in Aitkin, a small town of fewer than 2,000 people in northern Minnesota. Like many young people who grow up in small towns, she was dying to get…


Roberto Bedoya

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.…


Michael Strand

Michael Strand affects change in social systems through pottery

Archaeologists and anthropologists alike use pottery to better understand a culture. Pottery tells us about a culture's history, from everyday domestic routines to trade practices, even rituals…


Lindsay Tucker So

Write Your Block relates poetry and place in Philadelphia

Philadelphia has a rich heritage of poetry reflected in a diversity of poets and a vibrant poetry culture that includes respected institutions like the Kelly Writers House at the University of…


Marking the Evacuspot

Public Art and Preparedness: Lessons from Katrina

Hurricane Katrina was one of the most deadly, destructive, and costly natural disasters in the United States. This year commemorates the 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, providing opportunity…


Marche du Nain Rouge

Francis Grunow leads the charge for Detroit to "blame it on the Nain"

It's an idea that was born over beers, as the greatest ideas so often are. Somewhere in the cold winter months between 2009 and 2010, Francis Grunow took a break from writing a paper…


Romeo and Juliet

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…


David Swirsky

David Swirsky has such Big Love for Akron, he's even leading an Intervention

David Swirsky is the Chapter Leader of the Akron League of Creative Interventionists, a global network that creates shared experiences in public space that break down social barriers and catalyze…


Clemantine Wamariya

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…


Lenka Clayton

Lenka Clayton, An Artist in Residence in Motherhood

Since 1860, in the afterglow of the Industrial Revolution and on the eve of the Civil War, the number of working mothers has risen 800 percent. For as long as women in contemporary Western society…


Creative Interventions Tour, Detroit

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…


Joi Sears

Joi Sears leads the Theatre for the Free People on the world's stage

Joi Sears is a lot of things; stationary isn't one of them. She started out as a dancer, starting with the Cincinnati Ballet then moving on to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre in New York and…


Adam Buehler

Reach Studio reaches artists homeless and in transition, treating them as artists first

Art therapy is a well-established practice that uses the creative process to help improve a person’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. RedLine Denver, an "urban laboratory" that fosters…


Rocio Cabello and Renny Molenaar

iMPeRFeCT Gallery celebrates artists with commitment and the collision of high and low art

The concept of "perfection" in the art world is almost impossible to attain, yet that doesn't stop artists from trying or critics from criticizing. It was the rejection of this nebulous idea of…


Ariana Hernandez-Reguant and Ernesto Oroza

HICCUP creates positive disruption to bring visibility to Hialeah

The souvenir is as much a time-honored vacation tradition as is taking photos standing awkwardly next to world-renowned historic landmarks and tuning out the kids in the backseat as they continually…


Over.Under.Pass.

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…


Kirsten Stoltz

M12 Collective brings experiential art to the American High Plains

M12 is an artists' collective based in Byers, Colorado, a rural town in the American High Plains. The work of the collective inhabits rural places, and explores the aesthetics of those rural cultures…


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…


Gayle Isa

Asian Arts Initiative shepherds community engagement and integration in Philly's Chinatown North

Gayle Isa started working at the Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia in 1993. This was in the aftermath of the infamous Rodney King verdict and the riots in Los Angeles that followed. Racial…


Erik Howard

Erik Howard brings the corner and the community together in unlikely ways through The Alley Project

To read the abundance of news coverage coming out of Detroit over the last few years heralding the downtrodden city as a hotbed of creativity and innovation, attracting young creatives and start-up…


Laura Zabel

Welcome to Creative Exchange (again)

"I believe in the magic of storytelling, not only for teller but also the listener," says agrarian artist Nikiko Masumoto, who lives and works in California's Central Valley. "The possibility of…


Antonio Y Antonia

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…


Nikiko Masumoto

Nikiko Masumoto cultivates connections between the art of food and farming and stories of place

Nikiko Masumoto is a farmer, and also an artist. Contrary what people might assume about these two different aspects of her life, they are not at odds with each other. In fact, each one informs the…


Brian Corrigan's

Meet Brian Corrigan, Denver's "Oh Heck Yeah" phenom

It was during an unlikely -- and very cool -- marriage of something Pong and Space Invaders-like in downtown Denver last year when Brian Corrigan had himself an "aha!" moment. It was Create Denver…


Pieces for a new project sit on the table while the women crochet.

Ladies Fancywork Society of Denver is painting the town in thread

In early April, Denverites were devastated when the iconic Big Blue Bear leaning against the Colorado Convention Center was seen sporting an unwelcome splatter of green paint down its back after an…


Sarah Fox poses with a few of her art-campers.

Fox Art School raising bar for arts education in Denver

Fifteen to 20 kids assembled in an art gallery. All of them somewhere in the age range of 4 to 12. And a $10,000 painting hanging on the wall right over there. Not behind a pane of glass, or even…


JoAnn, Last Chance

What role can the arts take in harnessing the wisdom of rural communities?

These stories are brought to you by a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the NEA’s Our Town program. With fewer than 20 residents, Last Chance is the smallest community funded…