By Carol Coletta, ArtPlace
How can creative placemaking strategies drive vibrancy and diversity powerful enough to transform communities? Last week saw a gathering of nearly 200 creative placemakers dedicated to exploring exactly that.
ArtPlace, a national initiative for creative placemaking supported by the Knight Foundation, gathered grantees and funders together for a two day “Creative Placemaking Summit” in Miami Beach. Participants heard from a range of powerful speakers while also developing ideas collaboratively in smaller breakout sessions.
Dennis Scholl, chair of the ArtPlace operations committee and Vice President for the Arts at the Knight Foundation, spoke persuasively on the role of art in crafting vibrant communities and strengthening the connection between people and place. Bloomberg Philanthropies’ James Anderson shared his unique perspective, informed by his work on Bloomberg’s Mayors Challenge, on the role of innovation in the city of the future. Anderson advised placemakers to bring solutions not problems to civic leaders, thereby benefiting, not only the arts but the whole community. An animated policy discussion featured representatives from local, state and federal governments on how creative placemakers can use and influence policy. by encouraging participants to build on
Participants were also lucky enough to experience some local flavor, with walking tours of the Wynwood Arts District and the Bass Museum of Art’s tc: temporary contemporary public art project, and a reception at new hot Miami Design District restaurant, MC Kitchen.
The two-day long summit was an important forum for participants to share stories, tackle problems collaboratively, build networks and, ultimately, better integrate creative placemaking strategies into a broader civic portfolio for change.