News

Kresge’s Arts and Culture team will integrate its grantmaking framework under the concept of ‘creative placemaking’


May 22, 2012

The Kresge Foundation’s Arts and Culture team plans to roll out a new program that unifies the elements of the three-part framework that has guided its grantmaking since 2010.

The aim – helping communities use arts and culture to create healthy, vibrant places – is unchanged.

But where recent grantmaking has used multiple approaches to support that goal, the new direction will put the focus squarely on the integration of arts and culture into comprehensive community revitalization efforts.

“We believe that when integrated into broader community efforts arts and culture can contribute to resilient, thriving and equitable places,” says Alice Carle, the Kresge program director who leads the Arts and Culture team.

The three current elements of the Arts and Culture Program were meant to be integrated and mutually reinforcing, says Carle.  

“We’re satisfied that each element of our program has contributed to adding to the vibrancy of communities. But we’re also convinced that a holistic approach – instead of several means toward one end – will sharpen our impact in the communities where we’re investing.”

Kresge’s team will join with others in the arts and community- and economic-development fields who use the term “creative placemaking” to refer to the integration of arts and culture into revitalization efforts.

The term embodies the belief that the arts can enliven and rejuvenate public and private spaces, improve the climate for local businesses, bring people together, and contribute to creating more desirable places to live.

“Under this holistic approach, we will continue to be interested in the principles of art and community building and in artist live/work space as methods of pursuing creative placemaking,” says Carle, referring to the existing program framework. 

Kresge’s commitment to promoting sound capitalization practices will continue to inform grantmaking, says Carle. In the future, that will happen within the broader context of arts and culture as a part of an integrated approach to community revitalization.

Like Kresge’s other programs, the Arts and Culture Program seeks to create opportunities that help low-income and disadvantaged people change the trajectory of their lives.

Creative placemaking visibly advances that mission.

“Projects designed to revitalize neighborhoods or improve the conditions of low-income people work best when arts and cultural activities are fully integrated and a part of a comprehensive community strategy,” says Carle. Through a collective approach, we will invest and share in our local partners’ aspirations for resilient, thriving and equitable places.”

The Arts and Culture Program’s most recent call for applications closed in March. During the transition, grant applications will be by invitation.