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Focus Area

Increase Creative Capacity to Shape Healthier Neighborhoods

We work to advance creative approaches that empower residents to drive change and restore wellness in their neighborhoods.

We must address the harm done to people with low incomes and the disinvestment in the places where they live. This includes historic trauma, systemic racial injustices and normalized acts of exclusion. Only then can we use Creative Placemaking strategies to create conditions where all residents thrive and communities of color are supported.

Our goal with this focus area is to invest in resident empowerment, social cohesion, narrative change and equitable physical improvements in communities of color. Through this strategy, we work to support arts and community development organizations and projects that:

  • Apply arts, culture and creative strategies that promote inclusionary practices and policies.
  • Use creative strategies to change the narrative around people with low incomes and foster social cohesion.

Our Approach

We seek to cluster organizations (arts, community development and other nonprofits) and Creative Placemaking activities into cohorts and initiatives. We specifically support initiatives that:

  • Create the greatest opportunity for deep cross-team collaboration within The Kresge Foundation and collaboration with external foundation partner
  • Have existing, mature support infrastructure
  • Demonstrate well-formed Creative Placemaking practices

We look for patterns and opportunities to better understand outcomes and impacts. We also seek to build the capacity of our grantees to more directly engage in advancing critical field needs, ranging from policy to evidence base, and to fuller integration of racial equity and inclusion practices within community development.