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Art, Culture & Economic Development

Arts and culture can be a catalyst for neighborhood commercial revitalization and the creation of new local economic clusters, consisting of production, distribution, and consumption of art.

These clusters sometimes spur added retail, restaurant, and entertainment activities that bring jobs, consumer dollars and ecomomic vitality to the community.  Because nearly all communities have arts and cultural assets--even the poorest neighborhoods--arts and culture can be one of the most promising ways to increase local economic opportunity. 

More Than Storefronts
New publication from LISC explores the intersection of creative placemaking and community economic development
Delve Deeper into Arts Activation for your Downtown
Webinar on how artists and art strengthen the social, physical, and economic fabric of communities, and how cities incorporating art into their community and economic development programs.
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.
Arts and Economic Development on Main Street: Stone Mountain, GA
Exploring Our Town Profile: How did a small town take advantage of abandoned buildings in its downtown area to grow arts opportunities and its local economy?
Revitalizing Station North with Art and Design: Baltimore, MD
Exploring Our Town Profile: How can a distressed urban area capitalize on its creative artists, organization and institutions to create a vibrant destination for residents and visitors alike?
"The Promise of Arts-based Community Development"
A three-page introduction to the impact of art projects and neighborhood beautification efforts in low-income and minority communities.
"Economic Vitality: How the arts and culture sector catalyzes economic vitality"
A short briefing paper of four key points on how arts and culture can be an economic driver for a community.
"Creative Placemaking"
A seminal report from 2010 defines "creative placemaking" and gives examples and strategies for practioners and supporters.
"Cultivating 'Natural' Cultural Districts"
A documentation of the value of NOCD-NY, an alliance of community members formed to revitalize New York neighborhoods.
"Building Community through the Arts (BCA) Planning Handbook"
An outline of a nine-month process to help a community create a cultural action plan.
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