Let's Talk About Our Shared Values

Creating a strong, resilient, and sustainable field of practice requires broad agreement and a common understanding of the reasons for doing the work.

After a year of testing and gathering input from people new to creative placemaking and others with deep experience in the field, we released a discussion guide designed for creative placemaking initiative partners to surface and develop agreement on a shared understanding of the underlying values in their work.

Four major organizations worked together to collaborate on their investment into the creation of a strong and sustainable national field of practice in which community residents intentionally use arts, culture, and design strategies in local partnerships for equitable, healthy, and sustainable outcomes.

Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, ArtPlace America, The Kresge Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts meet regularly and share information about their grantmaking, research, and planning. Together, in 2018, they asked the Bridgespan group to help them assess the strength and needs of the field of creative placemaking using the Strong Field Framework.

We learned that articulating and clarifying the purpose and values of creative placemaking was a need for the field.

It’s Important Because…

It’s important to recognize that both arts/culture and community planning/development are fields that have been shaped by and continue to reinforce inequitable outcomes in many communities.

This is why we want to bring a set of values to creative placemaking practice that is both explicit and transparent. We know that some early efforts put more focus on economic outcomes and not enough on social and community-designed goals.

In this discussion guide, we acknowledge the obligation asserted by the field input to affirmatively reflect community assets and equitable goals in creative placemaking. We hope that local partners will discuss the questions in this guide together to ensure that their project process and outcomes are aligned to these values and that the partners are in agreement

Read more about the process on the ArtPlace website and download your copy of the guide. It’s our hope that partners in creative placemaking will use the guide in their work together.