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.
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.
Low-income people often find that poor credit scores, or no scores at all, prevent them from obtaining affordable consumer credit. Beginning in 2010, LISC, with the input of many of its partners–created and piloted a credit building loan product called Twin Accounts. In this paper, LISC researchers compare the outcomes of Twin Accounts borrowers with other, statistically-matched, clients of LISC-supported Financial Opportunity Centers who did not open such accounts to find out whether their scores, in fact, improved.
LISC has outlined a comprehensive set of policy proposals spanning 11 different federal agencies—all focused on helping families build a strong future, while supporting robust economic growth. This is work that cannot wait. It is critical to our national economy, as well as to the outlook for tens of millions of American families.