A reflective report on LISC creative placemaking projects in four cities shows how community development intertwined with arts and culture can uplift neighborhoods, and bring excitement, income, pride and inspiration to the people involved.
A case study of the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, in a Richmond, CA building refurbished with LISC investment, uncovers multifaceted returns for the surrounding community: young people are reaping the benefits of arts instruction imbued with the values of mutual respect and social justice. And the renovated center, coupled with expanded cultural programming and public improvements nearby, has laid the groundwork for commercial renewal along an adjacent corridor.
When LISC invested to renovate three anchor entertainment venues in the Fountain Square neighborhood of Indianapolis, a renaissance was set in motion. The area has made a dramatic turnaround from market failure to stability to destination zone, inviting new businesses, housing stock, and people, too.
An arts-led strategy to enliven the Penn Avenue corridor in Pittsburgh's East End has catalyzed an incremental and organic change. Artists, arts-organizations and new businesses, including a range of nonprofits, have taken up residence, signaling the emergence of a vital and economically diverse district.
In Duluth, MN, the Gimaajii Mino-Bimaadizimin Native American cultural center has proved to be a powerfully transformative institution. From providing housing to formerly homeless families to a mosaic of cultural, social and educational offerings, the center, in a refurbished Y, fosters refuge and belonging, and bridges cultures within its walls and beyond.