What Is Creative Placemaking?

Creative placemaking is the utilization of creative talent to elevate a community through cross-sector and community partnerships.

The following quotes also exemplify what Treasure Tampa envisions for creative placemaking:

According to Jamie Bennett, Executive Director ArtPlace America, there are four parts to creative placemaking:

First, the work needs to be ultimately place-based, meaning that there is a group of people who live and work in the same place. It can be a block, a neighborhood, a town, a city, or a region, but you need to be able to draw a circle around it on a map.

Jamie Bennet, Executive Director of ArtPlace America, speaks at the Treasure Tampa launch event in 2016. Photo Credit: W. Scott Chester

Next, you need to talk about the community conditions for all of the people who live in that place and identify some community development change that that group of people would like to see: a problem with housing that needs to be fixed; an opportunity with a new transportation infrastructure that needs to be seized; a problematic narrative around public safety that needs to be changed. (There are ten categories of community development changes that [ArtPlace America] currently track.)

Third is when the “creative” comes into play: how can artists, arts organizations, or arts activity help achieve the change that has been articulated for this group of people?

And, finally, since these are projects that explicitly set out to make a change, there needs to be a way of knowing whether the change has happened. Some people call this “project evaluation.” We simply say it is important to know when you can stop doing something, cross it off your list, and move on to the next thing.