New Research: Creative Community Development

December 18, 2019

We’re writing today to alert you to some new resources you can tap—immediately and in the year ahead—to empower your community and cultural development work.

Just released by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (FRBSF), the November 2019 edition of the Community Development Innovation Review explores the power of arts and culture to transform the practice of community development. Featured authors include artists, developers, bankers and researchers (including NASAA!)—all exploring how creative processes contribute to vibrant places and expand opportunities for low-income neighborhoods.

We commend FRBSF for its leadership in amplifying these issues, along with ArtPlace America and PolicyLink, who co-edited the edition. We encourage you to explore the whole journal, which offers a compelling case to deploy the arts in community development efforts nationwide. Use it as a call to action and share it with your networks through your social media, newsletters and other communications channels.

We are especially excited to share that this journal includes an article jointly authored by the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations (NACEDA) and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA)! NACEDA and NASAA contributed State Policy Innovations to Support Creative Placemaking. Drawing inspiration from both the community development and state arts agency fields, this article shows how government can harness the power of creativity and culture to foster equitable, resilient and prosperous communities. We offer seven specific policy recommendations designed to close critical gaps in the system of support for creative placemaking, with an emphasis on state level actions that can have a meaningful local impact.

Give it a read, and let us know what you think! We welcome your suggestions and your examples of work you are doing at the intersection of arts and community development in your own state. We hope it sparks good conversations about new policy and advocacy efforts. We would be pleased to serve as a sounding board for those efforts, so don’t hesitate to reach out if we can assist.

This collaboration was highly rewarding for both NASAA and NACEDA. We learned from each other and discovered much that our respective networks can contribute to each other’s success. To this end, we are expanding our collaboration with NACEDA in 2020. Together, NACEDA and NASAA will offer a variety of professional development, networking and knowledge-building opportunities. These will include virtual briefings, activities to connect community development associations with their state arts agency counterparts, and opportunities to attend creative placemaking convenings. Stay tuned for more information in the months ahead. We are grateful to ArtPlace America for supporting this partnership through the Strengthening the State Arts Agency Support System for Creative Placemaking initiative.

With our best wishes and admiration for all you do to empower people and places,

Kelly Barsdate, Chief Program and Planning Officer, NASAA
Jeremy Brownlee, Membership Director, NACEDA
Ryan Stubbs, Senior Director of Research, NASAA
Frank Woodruff, Executive Director, NACEDA