Skip to content

Kresge Arts and Culture Program will be guided by creative placemaking strategy

General Foundation News

The Kresge Foundation’s Arts and Culture Program has completed work on a creative placemaking strategy that will guide its grantmaking and investing.

The new direction focuses on the role arts and culture play in revitalizing communities.

“We believe that arts and culture are important to human development and can also help create positive and enduring social, economic and cultural change when purposely integrated within community revitalization activities,” says Alice Carle, who directs the program. “We call this deliberate integration creative placemaking, and we want to make arts and culture as central to discussions of community development as land use, transportation, economic development and other systems more traditionally associated with the field.”

Because the field of creative placemaking is fairly new, much of Kresge’s focus will be on advancing the body of knowledge around creative placemaking practice – testing new approaches, learning from established practices, and bringing creative placemaking into wider use. “We want to learn,” says Carle. “We also want to see this knowledge shared so that it can be more broadly applied.”

A description of the strategy and its main components can be found on the Arts and Culture Web pages.

The Arts and Culture Program team will begin accepting proposals for funding in August. Because of its interest in developing new knowledge, the team is curating a limited portfolio and will accept proposals in closely defined thematic areas. The team expects to identify different thematic areas over time.

“This is a pivotal moment for us and for the arts and culture field,” says Carle.

“Creative placemaking challenges us to work differently. This is adaptive work that ensures it’s no longer enough to simply conduct business as usual. This will cause us to look outside ourselves, outside the field and across sectors.

“If we can demonstrate that arts and culture can play a role in strengthening disinvested communities, we will have demonstrated value that not everyone has appreciated before.”