LISC’s Creative Placemaking work is focused on supporting artists as leaders in the transformation of their communities. LISC defines artists broadly as anyone who professes and practices their creative expression.
Promoting equity, especially racial equity, is a core principle of our creative placemaking work. People of color and other people from historically marginalized groups must be at the center of transforming their lives and their communities, and benefit from the changes that their neighborhoods experience.
Creative placemaking identifies and builds upon the authentic character of a specific place and its people, taking into account the local vernacular, aesthetics, history, and locally-significant sites. To be considered creative placemaking, arts- and culturally-based activities must aim to engender or strengthen community attachment to specific places or improve the economic well-being of people who live there.
LISC aims to encourage development in low-income communities that does not produce involuntary displacement. Arts- and culturally-based approaches invite and shape community investment, while simultaneously expressing a community’s cultural identity, which in conjunction with other efforts to increase resident control, helps communities deflect or manage unwanted change.
The most effective and enduring community development work is community-driven, comprehensive and collaborative. This holds for creative placemaking as for any other kind of community development, requiring explicit efforts to involve resident leaders and enable them to work across sectors and work collaboratively.
LISC has long invested directly in the capacity of community-based organizations to pursue community revitalization goals, a precondition for longer-term flows of resources into distressed communities. Our creative placemaking work aims to support capable organizations, working through durable partnerships, to effect change through arts and culture.