What’s Next for State-Designated Cultural Districts?

Summer night on East Passyunk Ave. in Philadelphia. Photo credit: Christopher Woods (Flickr user: ChrisinPhilly5448)

(Rebecca Chan is Director of Programs for Station North Arts & Entertainment, Inc., which manages a cultural district in Baltimore. She holds a Master’s of Science in Historic Preservation from the Graduate School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania and B.A. in Anthropology and Cultural Resource Management from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. -IDM)Read More

Artists shaking up and strengthening communities in rural America

Audience members dock their canoes to watch a scene from a paddling theater production in Granite Falls, Minnesota. Photograph taken by the author.

(Rachel Engh recently received a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. She currently lives in Minneapolis and is interested in exploring creative strategies to evaluate the success of community-based arts initiatives.) Last May, nearly two hundred people paddled down the Minnesota River in largeRead More

Culture and Community Revitalization: the Executive Summary

(This is a bite-sized version of the much longer piece Arts Policy Library: Culture and Community Revitalization.) The Social Impact of the Arts Project, based at the University of Pennsylvania, was founded in 1994 with the intent of studying the connection between the arts and community life. Over time, SIAP has established mechanisms to helpRead More

Arts Policy Library: Culture and Community Revitalization

SIAP Index Map

(For a much briefer version of this analysis, please see the Executive Summary.) SUMMARY The Social Impact of the Arts Project, based at the University of Pennsylvania, was founded in 1994 with the intent of studying the connection between the arts and community life. After all, “if the arts and culture do, in fact, haveRead More

Artists and Gentrification: Sticky Myths, Slippery Realities


(Anne Gadwa Nicodemus is one of the smartest people I know and a nationally-recognized expert on creative placemaking and artist spaces. Currently principal of Metris Arts Consulting, she is a choreographer/arts administrator turned urban planner, researcher, writer, speaker, and advocate on the intersection of arts and community development. Please enjoy her guest post tackling one ofRead More

Around the horn: Habemus papem edition

(This is the first Around the Horn to be put together by one of the Createquity Writing Fellows, Hayley Roberts. Enjoy! -IDM) Government Policy and the Arts Gladstone Payton details the sequester’s effects on the governmental agencies that provide funding for the arts. Will New Jersey pass legislation requiring cultural and sporting events to onlyRead More

Fuzzy Concepts, Proxy Data: Why Indicators Won’t Track Creative Placemaking Success

(If you don’t know the name Ann Markusen, you should. As professor and director of the Project on Regional and Industrial Economics at the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Ann has become one of the most respected and senior voices in the arts research community over the past decade. Among her best-known recentRead More

Richard Florida Redux and the Creative Placemaking Backlash

Richard Florida is all over the news again with the release of an updated, 10th-anniversary edition of his most famous book, The Rise of the Creative Class. I’m convinced that someone, someday is going to write a fantastic biography of Richard Florida. He’s such a fascinating figure: the symbol of a decidedly 21st-century concept of urbanismRead More

Creative Placemaking Has an Outcomes Problem

ArtPlace Theory of Change

(Note: a follow-up to this post, “In Defense of Logic Models,” is now available here) “I feel like whenever I talk to artists these days, I should be apologizing,” says Kevin Stolarick, Research Director for the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. To most in the arts community, StolarickRead More

Racism is alive and well

…and it manifests in housing markets: The findings from this exercise indicate that the preference estimates derived from our dynamic approach differ substantially from estimates derived from a comparable static demand model. For example, the per-year willingness to pay to avoid a 10-percent increase in the number violent crimes per 100,000 population is $586 (inRead More