Our Stories

The Arts Can Transform Neighborhoods. The Trick Is Getting It Right.

In an article for Shelterforce, LISC DC’s Adam Kent and Erik Martinez Resly, co-director of The Sanctuaries arts organization, offer a nuanced assessment of the challenges and tremendous payoff of linking artists, community developers and residents to invigorate neighborhoods. “At their roots, both the arts and community development amplify a people’s voice,” write the authors. But clear communication and a willingness to embrace the perspectives of other stakeholders is key to building successful collaborations.

Duluth Raises the Curtain on a Dynamic New Theater

In an op-ed for the Duluth News-Tribune, LISC Duluth’s director Pam Kramer describes how the renovated NorShor Theatre, a historic Art Deco gem, will help anchor the city’s efforts to spark an arts and culture economy. A complex set of public-private partnerships brought the theater back to life, and will nurture local artists, launch arts programs and create good jobs.

A Creative Approach to ‘Place’

In the final post of his blog series, Chris Walker, LISC’s director of research, explains how creative placemaking leverages the power of local artists, culture and history to create economic opportunity and improve their overall quality of life in urban and rural communities alike.

Without Risk, There’s No Reward. Especially in Community Development

In a blog post for Providence Business News, Jeanne Cola, director of LISC Rhode Island, stresses the role of calculated risk-taking when lending to promising community projects. It’s how LISC started—investing in people and places when no one else would—and it’s still paying off, as with the beautiful WaterFire arts center in Providence.

Research Validates Collaborative Crime Strategies

In some communities, there is a sense that crime is insurmountable. As part of our occasional series on community development research, LISC's research chief, Chris Walker, says that the data tells another story. “The sense of futility that pervades some conversations about safety is wildly misplaced,” he writes in his latest blog. He points to outcomes research that details the success of place-based strategies. The challenge, he says, lies in cutting them to fit local circumstances.