If you enjoy conversations with smart people, you'll enjoy the Creative Placemaking Knowledge Exchange.

Think of the Creative Placemaking Knowledge Exchange as a day of good conversations with sophisticated people who do interesting work and research.

See who is attending the Knowledge Exchange

In the morning, we'll explore six key topics related to creative placemaking: Community Building; Research, Evaluation and Outcomes; Healthy Aging; Youth Health and Engagement; Dance, Performance, and Community; and Healthy Creative Partnerships

After lunch, learn about Voices of Valor, a music program that serves veterans with PTSD, and hear songs composed by vets and program staff. Brian F. Dallow, Executive Director of Music for All Seasons, will be our lunchtime presenter.  Read more.

In the afternoon, you can pick the topics you want to talk about through and Open Space convening

The topics and presentations are:

Community Building:  These sessions explore strategies for bringing people together, especially within and across cultures.

Gratitude Graffiti Project: Creating Resilient Communities Through Gratitude and Art
Presented by: Candice Davenport - Co-Founder, The Gratitude Graffiti Project - Maplewood, New Jersey

We live in a fast-paced world, each of us bringing different interests and skills, yet, we all have one shared wish: to be happy.   However, we seem to be experiencing more stress than ever before.   The practice of gratitude is so simple that it is often overlooked as an effective, transformative tool with long lasting effects such as promoting happiness and well-being.  Researchers are constantly discovering the benefits of the practice of gratitude such as improving our immune function, lowering blood pressure, and spurring acts of kindness, generosity and cooperation.   Read more.

North College Resurgence:  Creative Approaches to Neighborhood Health in Fort Collins, Colorado
Presented by: Andrew Schneider - Director, Creative Places - Fort Collins, Colorado
Ann Denny - Co-Founder, Youth Art Connection (YAC) - Halifax, Nova Scotia
Josh Weinberg - Senior City Planner, City of Fort Collins - Fort Collins, Colorado
Clay Frickey - City Planner, City of Fort Collins, Fort Collins, Colorado

The City of Fort Collins Colorado is at a turning point for neighborhood land use, development and the social environment in ways that are affecting the whole population. Fort Collins City Planners Josh Weinberg and Clay Frickey, Create Places founder Andrew Schneider (FoCo, CO) and Canadian charity Youth Art Connection co-founder Ann Denny (Halifax, NS) are collaborating on a pilot project in the North College district (North Fort) aimed at creating partnerships between city, community and creative sector stakeholders in what is a culturally diverse region of the city.   Read more.

Place-Making in the Busy Metropolis:  Reviving Jewish Communal Life in Bayonne, New Jersey
Presented by:  Abraham Unger - Wagner College - Staten Island, New York
Richard Flanagan - College of Staten Island - Staten Island, New York

The City of Bayonne, New Jersey (pop. 65,000) once had the fabric of strong Jewish associational life, and Jewish business owners were once the backbone of the central business district’s retail sector. The declining numbers of Jews in the city coincided with general population decline and deindustrialization.  A group of civic leaders who were networked with Bayonne’s remaining religious and cultural institutions undertook an effort to revive Jewish life and institutions in the city in 2015. Read more.

Pueblo Passaic: An authentic Hispanic Shopping and Entertainment District
Presented by: Robert J. Tessier - Project Manager, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs - Trenton, New Jersey

The NJ DCA Local Planning Services (LPS) office is working with local stake holders to implement recommendations in a Together North Jersey study for the City of Passaic as well as a recently adopted Economic Development Element master plan. A committee of local merchants has been established "Comite Pueblo Passaic" to implement this district and the City has completed a Local Foods Local Places grant report for the same district and is also engaged in doing streetscape improvements.   Read more.

Research, Evaluation, and Outcomes: These focus on innovative or new research, or ways to explore outcomes.  The projects being studied are interesting, too.

Bridging the Gap from Theory to Evidence:  Evaluating the Impact of Creative Placemaking Interventions
Presented by: Sharon Yazowski - Executive Director, Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation - Los Angeles, California
Sarah Lee - President, Slover Linett Audience Research - Boston, Massachusetts

In 2012, the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation commissioned a multi-year study to evaluate the social impact of its venture philanthropy investments in the creative placemaking arena—specifically free concerts. Led by Slover Linett Audience Research, the study’s design and methodology were developed to test the Foundation’s theory of change, using frameworks that included both site-specific, primary data collection and secondary data using the NEA’s Livability Indicators. The key findings show the potential for creative placemaking projects to be hybrid arts experiences, resulting in social bonding and social bridging among people of diverse backgrounds.   Read more.

Looking Closely at the Arts in the Context of Planning
Presented by: Lynn Osgood - Founder, GO Collaborative - Austin, Texas

Traditionally the arts have been viewed within the planning profession as important elements for community identity and economic development. Focusing on the development of arts institutions, cultural districts, and tourism, the arts are recognized as an important dimension of civic life. However, with recent shifts in the world of arts practice and funding, a new emphasis has been placed on finding ways in which artistic practices can add to community development efforts. Today many funders are actively exploring ways in which the arts can expand their presence within communities. Read more.

The Roosevelt Plaza Park Pop-Up Experiment
Presented by: Joseph Sikora - President, Sikora Wells Appel - Haddonfield, New Jersey

The Roosevelt Plaza Park Pop Ups brought flexible seating, shade, flowers, interactive elements, music, public art, and conversation starters to downtown Camden’s central public space. Improvements to the park after demolition of a parking garage in 2012 left the park with only basic infrastructure, resulting in a blank canvas that lacked a sense of scale. The new pop-up parks were meant to enliven the existing park and encourage residents, employees, students, and visitors to spend time outside in the city.  Using locally sourced, relatively inexpensive, and repurposed materials, the park was transformed each year over a three period. Read more.

Cultural ROI / Project H.E.A.L.
Presented by: Theo Edmonds - Co-Founder, IDEASxLab - Louisville, Kentucky
        Danya Sherman - Research Consultant, ArtPlace America - Brooklyn, New York

Project H.E.A.L. aims to improve community health by utilizing artists and their work within a community to expand and strengthen social networks and to provide destigmatizing contact and education through purposeful conversations about community needs and health. The goal is to engage historically marginalized communities undergoing different types of trauma in the discovery of new ways for cultural tools to help alleviate health disparities and promote well-being at the neighborhood level. Read More.


Healthy Aging:  These focus on how the arts help people live healthier and happier lives as they get older - sorry, we meant to say 'more mature'.

Citizen Artist:  Elizabeth Youth Theater Ensemble Engaging Community Stakeholders in the Creative Placemaking Process
Presented by: Angela Kariotis - Performer, Elizabeth Youth Theater Ensemble - Elizabeth, New Jersey

We will be discussing two projects: An Intergenerational theater project between seniors and youth, and a citizenry theater project between police officers and youth, both projects serving Elizabeth, NJ. We hope these serve as national models for community engagement. Read more.

The Creative Open Studio
Presented by: Maria Lupo, MFA, MA, ATR - Healing Arts Manager, Atlantic Health System - Morristown, New Jersey
Lauren Medici - Arts Administrator, Atlantic Health System - Morristown, New Jersey

Loneliness and isolation are determinates of health that until recently have been fairly unrecognized. Community art making fosters a sense of belonging, and these feelings of inclusion are important to overall well-being. In 2015 Atlantic Health System’s Healing Arts program opened the Creative Open Studio, an on open community art studio staffed by creative arts therapists and artist facilitators. Not only does the studio offer an outlet for expression, creative connection and community, but the creative arts therapists can also screen for potential mental health concerns. Read more.

The Newark Museum: Art, Community, Healthy Balance, and Well-Being
Presented by: Steven Kern - Director & CEO, Newark Museum - Newark, New Jersey

By the time of the founding of the Newark Museum in 1909, museums had long been cultural anchors in American cities, serving as monuments to civic pride, learned connoisseurship, and enlightenment, largely for the community’s elite. Founding director John Cotton Dana brought a new purpose to American museums with the institution he created that would be dedicated to education and community service. The new museum model assured access to inspiration and enlightenment for all, from shop keepers to factory workers, with a special focus on school children. Dana’s museum was deliberate in assuring a healthy balance and well-being in the fabric of the community and its citizens.  Read More.

Youth Health and Engagement: These sessions focus on the mental and physical development of young people through the arts.

Civic Hacking and Open Government
Presented by:  Hema Malini Waghray - Director, Code for Princeton - Princeton, New Jersey

Civic hacking and open government are the key words that have gained common parlance in Princeton area technology circuit. Presentation for this is by Code for Princeton director, Hema Waghray who will speak about how innovation in technology and community engagement is brought together under one umbrella to create a community work space where skilled technologist work together to solve a community's problem with the help of technology. Read more.

North Fort Youth: Empowerment Through Artistic Expression and Entrepreneurship in Fort Collins, CO
Presented by: Andrew Schneider - Director, Creative Places - Fort Collins, Colorado
Ann Denny - Co-Founder, Youth Art Connection (YAC) - Halifax, Nova Scotia
Josh Weinberg - Senior City Planner, City of Fort Collins - Fort Collins, Colorado
Clay Frickey - City Planner, City of Fort Collins - Fort Collins, Colorado

Supporting true empowerment of youth voice in ways that span artistic, neighborhood development, social justice and entrepreneurial spheres is a key focus of the Canadian charity Youth Art Connection(YAC) whose programs include ARTpreneurs and “Youth, Arts, Justice” (a national partnership with Michaelle Jean Foundation). YAC Co-founder Ann Denny is collaborating in Colorado with Create Places and the City of Fort Collins to do youth arts development work in traditional Hispanic/Latino neighborhoods and other priority areas. In this presentation we will describe examples of how to support emerging youth artists (age 12-25) to make art about social issues and discuss how that art can inform decision making processes throughout society (including in the realm of health equity).  Read more.

Shack Exchange
Presented by:  Chyaime Williams - Community Connector Engagement Specialist, People's Emergency Center - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

People's Emergency Center Community Development Corporation (PECCDC) is excited to launch The Shack Exchange, a pop-up coffee shop and history museum created by Amber Art in partnership with PECCDC and Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations (PACDC) through their 3rd Spaces Initiative. The Shack Exchange will be open Mondays and Wednesdays, offering free nutritious beverages with historic facts about the neighborhood printed on the cups. Opening day was Wednesday, August 10th. Read more.

Local Collaboration Leads to Global Inspiration
Presented by:  Diana Polack - Owner, ArtWare for Good - Garrison, New York
Nancy Uslan - Founder, Books and Beyond - Bloomington, Indiana

Join members of the Central NJ Partnership to learn more about a shared global experience for US and African students. Discover how to create literacy resources that provide English language practice, through relatable cultural topics and visual arts.  Art is the focus of the preschool level books we created for students in Rwanda and with our Secondary level books many of the students who participated in New Jersey were in remedial English classes - fostering their work and accomplishments through the power or word and art. Read more.

Dance, Performance, and Community: If this one sounds like fun - it will be.  These sessions focus on the special role of performing arts in enhancing public health.  (Note: you may actually wind up dancing in at least one of these presentations.  No, seriously.)

Creating Sense of Community and Place Through Joyful Arts and Cultural Experiences in Public Space:  A Case Study of To Bollywood With Love
Presented by:  Joon-Yee Kwok - Lecturer & Study Coordinator, Queensland University of Technology - Brisbane, Australia

In 2014, I was commissioned by Brisbane City Council to produce an arts and cultural experience inspired by Bollywood. The free event was to take place on Albert Street, Brisbane CBD as part of Council’s BrisAsia Festival, an annual city-wide celebration and showcase of local Asian-Australian artists and communities, and traditional and contemporary Asian arts and culture. The commissioned work was to be a culture-led city regeneration activity to bring to life a key site that had been earmarked by Council for activation and renewal. My response to the brief saw the transformation of Albert Street into a Bollywood film set which invited audience to participate in immersive film, theatre and dance experience, To Bollywood With Love.  The result? An immersive Bollywood film experience co-created by audience members participating as “extras” and spectators. Read more.

Camden JAM!  Meaningful Placemaking in Camden
Presented by:  Sarah Bryant - Senior Project Manager, Coopers Ferry Partnership - Camden, New Jersey

Over the last three years, Camden’s community-driven Connect the Lots initiative has brought artistic, cultural and recreational programs to Camden’s vacant and underutilized spaces in order to connect a population that had previously been forced indoors by drug use, violence, and low-quality, poorly maintained open spaces. By connecting people to place, we believe we provide a platform for connecting people to people. Read more.

Atlantic City Ballet – Healing Through the Arts
Presented by:  Phyllis Papa – Founding Artistic Director, Atlantic City Ballet – Atlantic City, New Jersey

The Atlantic City Ballet set out to create a ballet based on the effects of Super Storm Sandy. With a grant from the NJ Recovery Fund choreographer, Kristaps Kikulis, created a ballet that reflects our resiliency as a people, explores the reality of the forces of nature and the determination of the human spirit. His inspiration came from actual Sandy survivors who relived their experiences through movement and dance workshops. Read more.

Play That Connects Communities
Presented by:  Erin Maile O'Keefe - Co-Founder, Circus Yoga - Brattleboro, Vermont

Erin Maile OʻKeefe co-authors community initiatives through The Human Connection Project. Partners include local schools, businesses, organizations, municipalities and unsuspecting pedestrians. With her background in dance, theater, architecture and festival-making Erin has made the crafting of temporal spaces and community play at the core of much of her work. In this per-lunch session we'll experience what is possible through a short burst of play! Read more.

Healthy Creative Partnerships:  If partnerships were easy, your favorite bands wouldn't have broken up.  These sessions explore effective ways to develop and sustain productive collaborations.

Envisioning a Walkable Corridor in Nashville
Presented by:  Rochelle Carpenter - Senior Policy Analyst, Nashville Area MPO - Nashville, Tennessee

Nolensville Pike in Nashville, TN is filled with traffic, small businesses, and dangers for people on foot, bicycle, and wheelchair; it is not designed to allow travelers to safely or conveniently traverse the corridor or to easily notice or access those businesses. As new rapid bus service begins along the corridor, city planners are looking to improve how people walk, bicycle and take transit. Read more.

The Catalyst Initiative - Devising Civic Practice
Presented by:  Rebecca Martinez - Artist/Partner, Center for Performance and Civic Practice - Brooklyn, New York

The Center for Performance and Civic Practice (CPCP)’s Catalyst Initiative is focused on building capacity and visibility for the individual artists and arts collectives already engaged in this work or who are interested in developing it as a part of their practice. This initiative invites project teams comprised of an artist and a civic partner to conceive and execute (to produce) a manageable, local project and work together as part of a multi-community cohort seeding a national conversation. Read more.

Arlington's Cultural Planning:  Catalyzing a Livable Community
Presented by:  Jennifer Raitt - Director of Planning and Community Development, Town of Arlington - Arlington, Massachusetts

Arts and culture are essential to healthy, connected, vibrant communities. Cultural planning creates a roadmap to engage creative and cultural assets and helps develop new partnerships to meet various municipal goals. This presentation will explore how Arlington, MA's cultural planning process became a critical platform for engagement and economic development. Read more.

The Scenic Route: Creative Placemaking in Transportation
Presented by:  Rochelle Carpenter - Senior Policy Analyst, Nashville Area MPO - Nashville, Tennessee

The Kresge Foundation has provided generous support that has supported Transportation for America to advance performance-based planning and creative placemaking in a number of metropolitan regions in which T4A is pursuing deeper community-based work. Through these efforts, three communities have emerged and signaled their strong enthusiasm and commitment to implementing creative placemaking projects: San Diego; Nashville; and Portland, Oregon. Each of these communities faces similar challenges: how can they turn major transportation investments planned for diverse and rapidly changing parts of their city into assets that can improve community stability, economic opportunity and social equity? How can these transportation investments transform neighborhoods in a positive way, building social capital, supporting local businesses and celebrating the stories, cultural history and diversity of existing residents rather than displacing them? Read more.

Yea, there’s a lot you can learn. If you’re concerned about having to sit through an assembly line of dry presentations – don’t.  Each presentation is no more than seven minutes long and we’ll have about 30 minutes of community conversation at each topic. You can ask questions, or share your own thoughts and experiences.

And there will be plenty of time to talk with the presenters during the break.  (They’re very nice; you should go up and meet them.)

As you can tell, the Creative Placemaking Knowledge Exchange is about exploring important and practical topics; but in ways that are fun, relaxing and stimulating.  At The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking, we produce only those events that we would pay to go to.

Get inspired. Share what you know. Meet people and make connections. Enjoy yourself.