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Kresge releases Creative Placemaking analysis, “Rethinking Neighborhood Change and Tracking Progress”

Arts & Culture

Strengthening America’s low-income communities through arts and culture requires more nuanced, holistic and creative approaches along with better ways to measure progress, according to a new Creative Placemaking analysis from The Kresge Foundation.

Rethinking Neighborhood Change and Tracking Progress” is the third in a series of Kresge white papers aimed at sharing lessons, identifying challenges and encouraging conversations in the Creative Placemaking field.

It suggests that addressing urban inequality through Creative Placemaking practices – the integration of arts, culture and community-engaged design into community development – requires a broader and more comprehensive approach, and an evolution in methods to track community impact.

The roots of urban inequality are multi-layered with factors including housing, employment, education and health, among others. Public policies addressing these issues typically are poorly coordinated and constrained by systemic flaws in the institutions and practices designed to address them. Successful Creative Placemaking work will help overcome those shortcomings by addressing issues holistically at the individual, family and neighborhood levels.

The analysis provides examples of how Kresge partners are working on comprehensive solutions tailored to their communities. They include Chinatown Community Development Center in San Francisco, working to preserve and protect cultural heritage in a rapidly changing environment; NewCorp Inc. in New Orleans where employment and training needs are being met through reviving and keeping alive the traditions of Creole craftspeople; and Pillsbury United Communities in Minneapolis where original theater performances tap into the wisdom, creativity and experiences of residents.