We believe in a process that is...


Just and fair processes respect not just the people involved, but the audience, the story and the cultures. They are guided by the principles of participatory democracy. Click HERE to read our non-descrimination policy.


A democratic process means that all ideas are considered, and decisions are guided by the consensus of members of the group. Feedback is a gift, and responding to feedback by tweaking a process or program is the sincerest way to honor that gift. Processes that respond to feedback are therefore evolving. Failure must be expected as part of that evolving process. Ultimately, real solutions to complex challenges are imperfect and exist on a continuum of bad, good and better.  


Creativity describes not just art, but the process by which creative placemaking is executed. It can appear messy and chaotic, and that’s okay. Artist voices are not optional; they are required.  


Diversity in all its forms is embraced and valued, and the definition of diversity includes not just diversity of race and ethnicity, but also gender, age, personality, profession, educational attainment, class, gender and form of artistic expression. Equitable processes recognize historic and systemic power imbalances and seek to level the playing field.


Creative placemaking seeks to elevate the unheard voices and stories of a place through a systematic, iterative effort. It is organic, but not random, and every decision is carefully informed by guiding principles.  Clearly defined goals drive the iterative process.


A values-based process begins with a recognition of the power and privilege that is afforded an individual or group, and that power and privilege can stem from not just from race, ethnicity, gender and class, but also organizational size and funding. Though people often refer to a bottom-up or top-down approach, one must recognize that the real work is driven by the leaders from the middle, often those actively engaged in the creative placemaking. 


Our work is co-created by people contributing and working together. It is cross sectoral; the effort is done through collaborations that always include artists as well representatives from other sectors including, but not limited to elected officials, planners, architects, community developers, economic developers, public safety officials and public health officials.




We believe in educational experiences that are...


Volunteer instructors acknowledge and agree that audience experience is the priority. The audience is everyone, including those who received discounts and scholarships. The intended ultimate beneficiary is the people in the community served by the attendee.


The educational experience engages all modes of learning, including the experiential. It recognizes and honors different learning styles: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic.  


Educational opportunities are available and accessible to people and organizations of varying means, and that means offering scholarships and free and low-cost programming. Traditionally unheard voices are amplified, and that means giving those voices a stage and a platform to discuss challenges and experiences.


Our programs demonstrate the range of possibilities by showcasing innovative and successful creative placemaking.


Part of the experience of our programs is the creative and inspiring participants they attract. So in the interest of maintaining that rich experience NCCP encourages having the time and space for all guests to share experiences, insights, and quandaries. NCCP programs encourage instructors to be a guide on the side, rather than the sage on the stage. Leaders model the behavior they wish to encourage, and that means collaborating, respecting differences of opinion and valuing a diversity of ideas and approaches. It means encouraging equity by leveling playing fields and valuing story. Creativity thrives on bountiful ideas and approaches, therefore, all voices have value and must be treated with respect.


Programs are affordable for people who lack the means and small organizations. Content options are offered for people at various levels of experience in their creative placemaking.


Programs are meant to encourage reflection on currently held beliefs and modes of operating.




We believe the field of creative placemaking

should be...


All people have a right to health, safety, and happiness. Creative placemaking at its best seeks to provide for all, but recognizes that systemic racism, sexism and class immobility require the prioritization of voices from the margins.


Our process is driven and controlled by the unique people and authentic stories of a place, not by large, outside organizations seeking to package a one-size-fits-all solution for the masses.  


Creative placemaking seeks to disrupt the entrenched power structures by empowering and amplifying the unheard voices.  


Diversity of age, gender, race, ethnicity, class, profession, and artistic genre helps to provide a fertile ground for abundant ideas, which is helpful when seeking a solution to any challenge. Much like ecosystems, diversity enhances the resiliency of a community or process by offering diverse solutions to a challenge.


Creative placemaking is driven by collaborations that always include artists, designers, culture bearers, and other stakeholders of a community including, but not limited to elected officials, neighborhood activists, community developers, economic developers, and chambers of commerce.  


Creative placemaking is a human-centered activity that draws from the soul of a community the stories of its inhabitants, past and present. It is the je-ne-sais-quoi factor for which there is no metric.  


NCCP does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, age, national origin, disability or sexual orientation, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and all in person and online services. We are committed to constantly improving on providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, clients, volunteers, partners, vendors, and event participants.