Getting a Seat At The Table: The Importance of the Arts in Community Development

October 28, 2016 Kelley Gibson News 0 Comments

On Tuesday, October 25, 2016, the Cultural Alliance was honored to welcome Jamie Bennett to York. Jamie is the Executive Director of ArtPlace America, a partnership among 16 foundations, 8 federal agencies, and 6 financial institutions working to position art and culture as a core sector of community planning and development by investing in, researching, and supporting those who lead and execute creative placemaking projects. To date, ArtPlace has invested $85 million in 233 projects in communities of all sizes across the United States in which artists and arts organizations are working with their neighbors to help shape communities’ social, physical, and economic futures. It’s what ArtPlace calls “Creative Placemaking.”

What is Creative Placemaking? It means bringing artists to the table in the community development process alongside all of their other neighbors.  Why is it important? As Jamie stated in his presentations to the Women’s Giving Circle of the York County Community Foundation and at our 2016 Annual Meeting, because it is key to stable communities.

“Artists are the one asset that exists in every community,” Jamie shared. “Not every community has a waterfront, or public transportation, or a major hospital or university to anchor it. But every community has people who sing and dance and tell stories. And we need to invite those people in to the work of strengthening the social, physical, and economic conditions of our communities.

Research shows that art helps create social cohesion, community attachment, and civic engagement: three ingredients of a stable community.”
To learn more about the impact of creative placemaking and hear the rest of Jamie’s comments, please click on the link below to view his full presentation at the Women’s Giving Circle luncheon.


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