Many turn to the arts as an escape from everyday challenges. And local arts and cultural institutions are often celebrated as community treasures. But innovative local governments have been utilizing artists' unique talents to address a wide range of issues for decades in the growing field of practice known as “creative placemaking.” The arts can do more than just beautify a place. Artists and culture-bearers can facilitate processes that amplify residents’ voices and experiences, build trust and enable collaboration across disciplines and sectors, reveal fresh perspectives on persistent challenges, activate community assets, and foster a stronger social fabric and sense of identity.
Problem Solving Through Arts and Cultural Strategies is a comprehensive resource for those considering, launching, or continuing a creative placemaking journey with their staff and partners. Generously supported by ArtPlace America, and developed in partnership with Civic Arts and a talented team of advisors, it explores how outside-the-box processes can offer new ways for government staff and community stakeholders to communicate, build trust, and collaborate. It illustrates roles artists can play across a wide range of contexts, and provides guidance on navigating these processes from defining the opportunity to building the team to structuring and sustaining partnerships. The document is also full of case studies, testimonials, links to tools and additional resources, and prompts to help managers consider how these approaches might benefit their own communities.