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Community Cultural Development

Community cultural development includes arts and cultural activities that advance community identities and forms of expression. That can include programs for youth that connect to the community's history and build an appreciation for the arts.

When arts and culture are authentically embedded in the community, they promote respect for core community values, pride in cultural traditions, appreciation for local history, increased connections among neighbors and a heightened sense of the community's ability to effect change.

Exploring Our Town
This website from the National Endowment for the Arts gives guidance and inspiration for arts-based community development work, based on more than 65 case studies from the NEA Our Town program.
Parks and Arts, A Natural Pair: Roanoke, VA
How can a small city increase access to the arts and create opportunities for its local artists outside of traditional venues?
Temporary Public Art Installations to Animate Vacant Spaces: Phoenix, AZ
Exploring Our Town Profile: How can temporary public art projects help change perceptions about a city’s vacant lots and bolster a developing cultural district?
"Building Communities, One Art Project at a Time"
An article, published by Nonprofit Quarterly, on the Sugar Hill Children's Museum of Art and Storytelling in West Harlem, NY, a partnership between the nonprofit social service Broadway Housing…
ArtsWave supports Place Matters
From cooking programs to Shakepearean plays, five communities in Greater Cincinatti and Northern Kentucky are using arts activities for neighborhood revitalization.
Creative Placemaking: Thinking Out Loud
A series of blog posts from LISC's Erik Takeshita and others that explore what creative placemaking offers to community development and how to get the most from this approach to arts and culture in…
Irrigate: Year One
A video and the website for an artist-led creative placemaking initiative in St. Paul that has done more than 100 different local installations across a dozen neighborhoods.
Art Works Blog
The blog of the federal National Endowment for the Arts, Art Works aims to "enrich public understanding of what art is and how art works in our communities."
Animating Democracy
The Arts & Social Change Mapping Initiative maps and highlights the spectrum of ways the arts are being activated to engage people and make change.
Arts and Democracy Project
The Arts and Democracy Project works to link arts and culture, participatory democracy, and social justice through cultural organizing and cross-sector collaborations.
The Center for the Study of Arts and Community
A resource for community groups and their allies, specializing in the development and assessment of arts-based community partnerships and in training for artists and their community partners.
"Arts-based Community Development: Mapping the Terrain"
This short paper is gives a long-term perspective on the community-based art's components, its shared assumptions, lessons learned, and its vocabulary.
"People, Land, Arts, Culture, and Engagement: Taking Stock of the PLACE Initiative"
A white paper on the work and the impact of a community-based arts program that builds civic engagement through collaboration with organizations, artists and residents in Tucson.
"Where Community Is at Work Making Itself"
Experts discuss examples of how communities use and build "third place" spaces where people can gather, talk, interact, play, plan and just hang out.
"Claiming Space"
This article in Shelterforce covers how two groups in Philadelphia are using community-driven arts projects to define and reshape neighborhood spaces.
"Creative Placemaking"
A seminal report from 2010 defines "creative placemaking" and gives examples and strategies for practioners and supporters.
"New Creative Community: The Art of Cultural Development"
This book from 2006 is one of the best overviews of how commuities express and develop themselves via the creative arts.
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