A new white paper from LISC offers an overview and analysis of the CDFI industry and its trajectory of social impact investing. The field of community development financing is changing radically, and as pools of funding shift and contract, it is more important than ever that CDFIs diversify their resources and develop new tools to carry on their important work. Not only do CDFI investments help strengthen communities, the paper contends, they also provide a robust rate of return and fuel the larger economy.
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.