Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Save the dates: New Jersey Creative Placemakers learning and social events

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

New Jersey Creative Placemakers, the new network for people who want to make Jersey communities better through arts and culture, is scheduling several learning and social activities in 2017.  Here's a sneak peek at what we're working on:

  • March 23, 10 am to noon:  Help shape the next Regional Plan for the New York City metropolitan area, then join us for lunch in downtown Newark, NJ. (Only 10 seats left). Learn more or register
  • Late April (tentative):  Book talk and social:  How to Do Creative Placemaking, a new work by the National Endowment for the Arts.  Late afternoon/evening, Hammonton, NJ
  • May 5, 8:30 to 4, Thriving Together, the next Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit and 4-7 pm, Reception honoring Donna Drewes, Newark, NJ  Learn more or register for the
    Summit or register for only the reception.
  • May 25, 4 to 7 pm:  (date confirmed, time tentative):  Learning Tour and social: Morristown, NJ.  Learn about the great creative placemaking work in Morristown and explore opportunity areas.  Then stay around for a social at a local bar or restaurant.
  • Early to mid June, on a Saturday morning:  Learning Tour and social:  Maplewood and South Orange, NJ 
  • Late July, late afternoon/evening: Learning Tour and social: Hackensack, NJ
  • September, on a Saturday: Learning Tour and social: Orange, NJ
Hackensack CAT Arts Walk, June 2016

To get regular updates on New Jersey Creative Placemaker learning events and social activities, subscribe. (Choose New Jersey Creative Placemakers and any other information updates from the list.)

New Jersey Creative Placemakers is a joint production of The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking and PlanSmart New Jersey.  It is made possible in part through the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.

NCCP will host a reception to honor Donna Drewes for her work in promoting creative placemaking
Source: Sustainable Jersey
through the Sustainable Jersey Arts and Creative Culture Task Force.  It will be May 5, from 4 to 7 pm, right after Thriving Together, the Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit, at New Jersey Institute of Technology.  Tickets are $30; Leadership Summit registrants get in free.

Through Donna's leadership, New Jersey municipalities now have more tools and incentives to pursue creative placemaking.  As Sustainable Jersey co-Director and co-Chair of it's Arts and Creative Culture Task Force, she helped develop several creative placemaking 'actions' that help towns get more points toward Sustainable Jersey Certification. Learn more about Sustainable Jersey actions.

Learn more or register for the reception.

Proceeds will be used to support programs of The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking and New Jersey Creative Placemakers (NJCP).  NJCP is a joint program of The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking and PlanSmart NJ.

Building your team can help you get more done, faster and better

In spring training, coaches help good baseball players form strong teams. Creative placemakers also win by forming strong teams. NCCP's team building workshops can help. Join us for Building Teams for Creative Placemaking in Morristown, NJ on March 20 or New York, NY on March 21.

Just as baseball teams rally with a strong fan base, creative placemakers do better with more public support. Building Public Support for Creative Placemaking helps you do that. It's also on March 20 in Morristown, after the Building Teams workshop.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Learn a great deal at the next Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit

We've just published an early list of workshops for Thriving Together, the next Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit. In just one day: 
  • 8 workshops explore how to engage diverse audiences in creative placemaking
  • 7 explore how artists can use their knowledge and skills to lead creative placemaking
  • 7 provide insights on choosing effective strategies
  • 7 discuss how to work more effectively with artists
  • 6 explore how to build sustainable relationships between universities and communities
  • 6 address other ways to grow or maintain high-performing partnerships
  • 5 offer tips on how to start creative placemaking efforts
  • 5 explore other ways to build social equity through creative placemaking
  • 5 address other ways to sustain creative placemaking
  • 4 explore how to deal with systemic oppression
  • 1 explores how to get more financial support for creative placemaking
  • 1 will help arts educators learn more about public art
  • 1 will help artists make stronger cases for legal work spaces
Plan ahead; think about going with others so you can catch up on any workshops you miss. Remember, ticket prices go up to $100 again March 6, then $150 by May 1.  Learn more or register.

Start spreading the news... NCCP's in New York

We're excited to be working with three great organizations this year in NYC:  Support Center/ Partnership in Philanthropy, Municipal Art Society of New York City, and the Regional Plan Association.
We're partnering with the Support Center to offer a half-day workshop on building teams for creative placemaking.  It will be March 21 at their offices in Lower Manhattan.
Last year, we had a great time doing crowdmapping workshops in five neighborhoods with MAS NYC (which means both Municipal Art Society of New York City in English and 'more NYC' in Spanish).  We're working with MAS again on crowdmapping and more focused creative placemaking in two neigbhorhoods.  It's part of MAS' Livable Neighborhoods Initiative.
Every generation or so since the 1920s, the Regional Plan Association creates an influential plan to guide development in the tri-state metropolitan area. RPA wants to incorporate more arts into the next Regional Plan.  We'll help them by bringing together creative placemakers in New Jersey to explore how arts and creative culture can support good planning -- and vice versa.  To join this event, stay tuned to our newsletter, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

New Jersey Creative Placemakers, a new community for creative placemaking

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

Being innovative can make you feel isolated.  It's great to have a community of peers who you can learn from, share ideas with, and talk to without having to explain everything.

Thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts, The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking and PlanSmart NJ are building a new network for anyone in New Jersey who works to make communities better through arts and culture.

New Jersey Creative Placemakers, launched last month at the New Jersey Planning will host events, conduct training sessions, provide resources, and do other things that will:

·         Encourage creative placemakers in New Jersey to support one another
·         Promote mutual (i.e., peer) learning
·         Lead to a clearing house of information for creative placemaking
·         Help members stay on the ‘cutting edge’ of creative placemaking practice
·         Influence civic leaders
·         Promote financial sustainability for creative placemaking in communities
·         Provide clear points of entry into the creative placemaking field in New Jersey
·         Help creative placemakers become invest in communities to sustain arts and creative placemaking.

New Jersey Creative Placemakers is managed by The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking and organized by a diverse team of leaders from a wide variety of organizations and agencies in New Jersey, including:

American Planning Association – New Jersey chapter, American Society of Landscape Architects – New Jersey chapter, Bergen County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs, CORE Creative Placemaking, Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey, Long Beach Township, Middlesex County Office of Culture and Heritage, Morris Arts, Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, Noyes Museum of Art at Stockton University, Rowan University Department of Theater and Dance

To join New Jersey Creative Placemakers, sign up here for updates.  Even if you already get the NCCP newsletter, please check off the New Jersey Creative Placemakers box. 

We are planning several events for 2017 in addition to the 2017 Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit.  We are also working on a website for the network. If you would like to help, please contact Leo Vazquez by email or at 973-763-6352

New Sustainable Jersey action rewards municipalities for policies that support the arts

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

New Jersey municipalities that write plans and regulations to help grow the arts in their communities can get rewarded with more points toward Sustainable Jersey certification.

Municipal Commitments to Support Arts and Creative Culture, a new Sustainable Jersey action, provides up to 25 points for Certification.  Nearly 75% of the state's 565 municipalities have or are pursuing certification because it brings more prestige and opportunities for more funding.

According to the action, New Jersey communities can get rewarded for such activities as:

  • Preparing a Master Plan element that "provides strategies to support the development of arts and other creative activity, or incorporates these strategies in other elements of the Master Plan."

  • Adopting land use ordinances "that explicitly promote artistic activities and expressions of culture. For example, a zoning ordinance could be adopted to allow the use of public spaces for arts and cultural activities, or for developers to provide public art on their properties."
  • Creating cultural districts or developing regulations "that promote and protect cultural and creative expression. Examples include an ordinance that allows the public display of temporary sidewalk art, street musicians or other forms of creative expression that might be regulated under municipal noise or nuisance provisions."
Municipal Commitments is one of five actions that reward communities in Jersey for creative placemaking.  Others focus on building creative teams, conducting creative asset inventories, engaging in creative placemaking projects, and preparing a comprehensive creative placemaking plan.

All of these actions were prepared by the Sustainable Jersey Arts and Creative Culture Task Force, which is co-chaired by The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking Executive Director Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

The Task Force will review the performance of all Arts and Creative Culture actions, and make significant improvements.  The Task Force will also provide training on all of the actions. If you would like to join the Task Force or would like to know about future trainings, please contact the Task Force manager, Winnie Fatton at (609) 771-2855 or by email at