Real people, real time, and online! 


Your communities need your creative leadership now more than ever. Are you ready? Register for one of only 50 spots in the series of six, online Mini-Summits to deepen your knowledge, sharpen your skills, and strengthen your connection with creative placemakers across the country.


The series opens June 18 with an inspirational talk led by NCCP Founder Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP and continues that same day with a discussion on how state agencies can support creative placemaking. Continue with once-monthly, online gatherings from September through January with the same dynamic people through this live, interactive program that will include small-group discussions and access to the innovators who drive change through cross-sectoral creative collaborations. Scroll down for details of this exciting program. Although our hybrid summit pass (includes a celebratory, two-day, In-person gathering in Philadelphia March 25-26, 2021) is nearly sold out, we're adding this limited number of spots at $150 each for those who would like to attend the online-only portion. 

Online Mini-Summits

June 18, 9:30-12:15 pm EDT

Featured sessions: Resilience, Recovery and Healing Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP, Founding Director, The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking In this inspirational talk, learn how creative placemakers can help lead and support efforts to help communities come back from trauma. Issues in State Agency Support of Creative Placemaking. David B. Pankratz, former Director of Policy and Research, Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council Steven Skerrit-Davis, Deputy Director, Maryland State Arts Council Sarah Merritt, Director of Pennsylvania Creative Communities, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Luis Cotto, Cultural Districts Program Manager, Mass Cultural Council What are state arts agencies doing to help creative placemaking in communities? What are the opportunities and challenges caused by current conditions?

September 23, 9:30-12:15 pm EDT

Featured sessions: Art as a Tool to Build Community Resilience and Mindfulness Cornell “Lord Judah” Carelock, Executive Director, True He(ART) Academy. Explore mindfulness tools to create an atmosphere that reduces tension, encourage empathy, and promotes productive engagement. Successful Strategies for More Inclusive Communities. Kersten Harries, Architect and member, Village of Sleepy Hollow, NY, Planning Board Leigh Solomon Pugliano, Principal, Straight Forward Consulting; Founder, Barrels to Beethoven Keiko Cramer, Principal and Landscape Architect, WRT, LLC Explore and discuss strategies for inspiring, empowering and supporting stakeholders as leaders in local creative placemaking. Learn from successful initiatives in Pittsburgh and the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania. Front Line Care Givers Respond
Helen Kauder, Executive Director Emeritus, ArtSpace, New Haven, CT Over the past two years, ArtSpace's annual festival has addressed themes related to healthcare, aging and well-being. This presentation will describe the ways we created a forum for the language, movement, and ideas of care, as practiced by end of life care givers (e.g. ER Room Trauma Nurse, Hospice worker, Cancer Buddy, Death Doula), became inspiration for artists to make dance, music, theater and visual work. We will also look at intergenerational collaborations that engage artists in their 70s, 80s, and 90s and pass memory on.

December 2, 9:30-12:15 pm EST

Featured sessions: Growing and Sustaining Creative Placemaking. Karen Pinzolo, Executive Director, South Jersey Cultural Alliance Shannon Musgrave, Communications Director, Allegheny Regional Asset District Caitlin Cameron, Urban Designer, City of Portland (Maine) Adam Kenney, Director of the Creative Business Accelerator Explore and discuss strategies being used in Maine, New Jersey and Pennsylvania to create healthier and more resilient environments for creative placemaking. These include alternative tax structures, programs that build prestige, advancing cultural entrepreneurship and incorporating art into infrastructure planning.

October 14, 9:30-12:15 pm EDT

Featured sessions: How Can Creative Placemaking Be Both Sustainable and Equitable? Andrew Zitcer, Director, Urban Strategy Program and Assistant Professor of Arts Administration and Museum Leadership, Drexel University Sarah Yeung, Independent Consultant Critics and skeptics cite two key concerns about creative placemaking: 1. That it is just another fad that is unlikely to last and 2. That it is too often used as a vanguard for the displacement of cultures and marginalized residents. This roundtable addresses both of these questions, based on research conducted of creative placemaking initiatives in Philadelphia. How Can Creative Placemaking Better Support Small, Local Merchants? Paola Garrido Estevez, Community Development Officer, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) New York City Melissa Kim, Deputy Director, LISC Philadelphia Veronica Ayala-Flores, Program Assistant, LISC Philadelphia The economic depression of 2020 is endangering the tiny businesses that provide valuable goods, services, jobs and emotional well-being to communities. In this Strategic Conversation, share your thoughts on how creative placemakers can help small businesses and micro-entrepreneurs.

November 18, 9:30-12:15 pm EST

Featured Sessions: Funding to Sustain Creative Placemaking. Sarah Calderon, Managing Director, ArtPlace America. Additional session leaders to be announced Get insights on the funding climate for creative placemaking. Unlocking the Power of Major Gifts Fundraising. Julie Pareles, Independent Agent In this training session, learn how to make more persuasive arguments to large donors.

January 20, 9:30-12:15 pm EST

Featured sessions: Arts + Health: New Research Implications for Creative Placemakers. Margy Waller, Senior Fellow, Topos Partnership Jill Sonke, Director, University of Florida Center for Arts in Medicine and Assistant Director, UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine Aviva Kapust, Executive Director, Village of the Arts and Humanities This session is designed to inspire new collaborations to address health priorities by providing information about how this has been and can be done successfully. We will offer examples of how these collaborations can support sustainability by reaching new partners in health and beyond to address comprehensive community well-being. Sites-in-Flux: Ephemeral Works & Community Change. Ronit Eisenbach, Professor, University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation We will discuss three communities that deployed ephemeral art, cultural events and design to respond, develop and advance a vision for change. All three seek to alter the way both insiders and outsiders see the community as it exists and as it might be. All three deploy strategies of play, delight, cultural affirmation and spatial transformation to invite stakeholders to join a process often driven by established players and expectations.

More about the Mini-Summit Online Series:

The same high-impact, innovative programming you have come to expect will happen online. The ongoing theme will now address the challenges of today with an eye toward a post-pandemic future. The series will include opportunities to converse in real time and in small groups. All of the Mini-Summits include networking in ‘virtual breakfasts’, then a session exploring the key topic of the day, then peer learning in small-group conversations.

In-Person Summit

More About the In-Person Summit in Philadelphia March 25-26

See in person the people you’ve gotten to know online in Philadelphia for two days of high-impact programming, idea-sharing, and guided discussion. Sharpen your skills in Training Sessions, guide the future of the field through Strategic Conversations, broaden your view of the field through Peer Exchanges, and dive into the studies in Research Roundtables. You can also join Field Workshops to see innovative creative placemaking work in and around Philadelphia.

Breakout Session 1

Did My Taxes Pay for That?!? Caitlin Cameron, City of Portland, Maine We’ve all heard someone in our community say, “How much did the City pay for that artwork?!” Public art often gets the short shrift with competition for those limited resources, making it seem difficult to accommodate the creation and maintenance of public art and creative placemaking efforts. Partnerships are a reliable, though sometimes challenging, way to initiate, implement, and finance quality creative placemaking projects. The Urban Designer and Public art Administrator from Portland, Maine, shares how to cultivate partnership-based art projects to achieve community goals in creative, cost-effective ways and how to access funding. "SETTING THE STAGE FOR SUCCESS" John Delconte, University of Massachusetts Amherst Explore and discuss better ways to plan for successful creative placemaking and learn from mistakes. Learn from three cases in Philadelphia and Allentown, Pennsylvania. The featured presentations are: - Adding a Cultural Layer to a Master Plan - Failing Forward Fast: 5 Years of Placemaking Lessons - Culture in Neighborhoods: a Creative Placemaking case study in Philadelphia Adding a Cultural Layer to a Master Plan Emma Fried-Cassorla, Delaware River Waterfront Corp As waterfront development momentum continues to build and revitalization efforts move forward, DRWC identified new and greater opportunities for art and culture along the waterfront. With that came a need for a more intentional process for incorporating both the art itself and the artistic communities in the development of public spaces. A three-year long process added a “cultural layer” to the Master Plan for the Central Delaware, resulting in a clearly defined vision for locating art outside of traditional venues and expanding cultural experiences. Failing Forward Fast: 5 Years of Placemaking Lessons Sean King, Cultural Coalition of Allentown Over the past five years, the Cultural Coalition of Allentown has attempted to introduce the concepts of creative placemaking and the creative economy to the business, government and artistic leaders of the region, sometimes to mixed results. The “Failing Forward Fast” session will take attendees through the highs and lows of educating a community on the elements of the creative economy and how to navigate the pitfalls which inevitably arise when building a sustainable implementation strategy. Session participants will learn tips and techniques from the real world successes and failures they may encounter in building a community-wide creative economy program. Culture in Neighborhoods: a Creative Placemaking case study in Philadelphia Dan Gasiewski, City of Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy This session will detail the scope of work in neighborhoods to transform existing city assets into hubs of creativity and culture. Presenters will highlight our methodology for creating and sustaining community involvement by using these existing spaces in new ways, while simultaneously creating economic opportunities for artists to expand their audiences and work with their own communities. Learn the impact of these programs on the spaces, their communities, and the local artists. Participants will learn about a program that leverages existing infrastructure for creative placemaking that may serve as a model in their communities. Placemaking and the Public Realm Sharla Russell, City of Philadelphia Jane Golden, Mural Arts The public realm comprises the streets, sidewalks, public plazas, parks and other outdoor spaces that are available without charge and require no key to access them. The public realm belongs to everyone. But in Philadelphia, crumbling sidewalks, rapid and disruptive real estate development, and perceptions of safety create barriers for residents, women and children, seniors, and persons with disabilities. How can placemaking be a tool for: improving premier urban elements such as streets and sidewalks that connect and unify public and private places; creating a sense of place and community; and ensuring access to public spaces that are safe, inclusive, and inviting? What, Besides Money, Should Municipalities Do to Support Creative Placemaking? Sara Moline, Creative Entrepreneur Join a conversation where participants exchange ideas on how towns, cities and counties can be encouraged to support creative placemaking. Then, discuss strategies to implement ideas in communities.

Breakout Session 2

Connecting Dots: The POC Artist Continuum in the Creative Economy Jessica Stern, Americans for the Arts Ami Scherson, Americans for the Arts Participants will get a better understanding of a broad definition of the creativity economy and how to map it in their community. Participants will understand how different entities intersect and how to leverage resources in their communities to build an inclusive creative economy. Participants will gain understanding about how students and artists who identify as people of color (POC) and POC-led organizations can navigate structures and pursue alternative business models. Win Stakeholders by Proving Impact Carolyn Edlund, The Clark Hulings Fund for Visual Artists Daniel DiGriz, The Clark Hulings Fund for Visual Artists Placemakers must be able to measure impact in order to prove the efficacy of a program, increase credibility, gain support, and attract collaborators. Data science measures change and collates results. It opens new possibilities, but only if you know what to measure and how, and design programs to be able to extract what you need at the end. In this interactive session, the we will take a look at how outcomes are reached and can be presented to maximize stakeholder participation. Then, we’ll roll up our sleeves and work together, giving participants the ability to start using these powerful data tools.

Breakout Session 3

Promising Practices in Participatory Artmaking Susannah Laramee Kidd, PhD., Independent Consultant Cathy Harris, Mural Arts Philadelphia As part of the Mural Arts Institute, Metris Arts Consulting's Susannah Laramee Kidd did a deep dive into the "how" of participatory artmaking at Mural Arts Philadelphia. The resulting report and toolkit highlights promising practices drawn from a sample of eight projects across Mural Arts' program areas. In this session, Laramee Kidd and Mural Arts' Cathy Harris will share some of these promising approaches to creating artwork with communities and facilitate exercises in applying these practices to creating your own artwork with community members. What are examples of these practices in your own projects/programs? How can you better apply some of these practices in your work? How do you meet the challenges of facilitating meaningful participation? This session will use these promising practices in Mural Arts' work to stimulate reflection and peer exchange about the process of working with communities. From Monument To Memorial Park: How Design Facilitates Urban Transformation Misa Chen, WRT Eszter Kutas, Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation (PHRF) How would you transform an underutilized memorial into a lively public space? At the head of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia’s cultural corridor, sits Nathan Rapoport’s 1964 Monument to Six Million Jewish Martyrs, America’s oldest Holocaust memorial. Learn from the landscape architect and nonprofit leader who together spearheaded the development of the Horwitz-Wasserman Holocaust Memorial Plaza, turning a forgotten .25 acre plot into a living classroom and gathering place; discover how design principles facilitate public education for diverse communities, while maintaining the authentic feel of a park embedded in Philadelphia’s urban fabric; and explore capital funding and long-term sustainability strategies. Competencies and Ethics in Creative Placemaking Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP, The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking Margy Waller, Topos Partnership What should creative placemakers know? What should they believe? How should they practice their craft? This session will provide some answers, based on crowdsourced information from creative placemakers around the United States. The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking explored these three questions with participants at 10 Creative Placemaking Leadership Summits around the United States in 2018 and 2019. Since 2012, NCCP has engaged hundreds of professionals in this field about their practice. We will report on our findings and offer recommendations for evaluating creative placemaking practitioners and developing an ethical code for the field. This session will be particularly useful to grantmakers, leaders and educators in creative placemaking. There will also be a conversation about work conducted by Topos Partnership in developing a values guide for creative placemaking. Moving Beyond The Pop-up John Sullivan, Community Placemaker Tactical urbanism relies on the use of "pop-ups" and temporary demonstration projects to provide tangible and authentic experiences in reimagined spaces. However, what happens once the pop-up model, pops back down? Why do some temporary projects gain momentum and go on to become permanent, while others never seem to reach that next level , or in many instances, disappear never to be seen or heard from again? Well, while there are obvious structural differences between a pop-up plaza, parklet, or bike lane, these projects all share similarities when it comes to getting the political and community buy-in required to stick around longer than the initial demo period. In this session, participants will be provided with first-hand knowledge, replicable resources and tested practices to confidently move a project "Beyond the Pop-Up" and onto the permanent!

Field Workshops

Chester, PA: Leadership and Renewal Through the Arts Laurie Zierer, Pennsylvania Humanities Council Ulysses Slaughter, Chester Made / Pennsylvania Humanities Council Devon Walls, MJ Freed Theater; Artist Warehouse Inc. During this experiential Field Workshop, participants will hear from Chester Made partners, including the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, about how they are using arts & humanities and Creative Placemaking to enhance the development of Overtown Chester. Participants will tour several businesses on the Avenue of States, including MJ Freed Performing Arts Theater and the Chester Made Makerspace, and will collaborate on a participatory art project as a closing activity. Color Me Back: A Same Day Work and Pay Program Nadia Malik, Mural Arts Philadelphia Emily Crane, Mural Arts Philadelphia Alvin Tull Mural Arts Philadelphia leader Nadia Malik will present on using participatory public art to advance individual and community health outcomes. Participants will be required to travel to the Color Me Back studio at Suburban Station to participate in this session (assuming we will not provide transportation for this). They will begin by learning from Porch Light program Director, Nadia Malik, about MAP’s Porch Light program goals, and the different models that Mural Arts employs in working with adults struggling with housing insecurity, mental illness, trauma, and/or chemical dependency. Then they will focus learning about the innovative new program, Color Me Back: A Same Day Work and Pay Program and engage in hands on activities/mural painting led by the artists who work in this unique space. Conversation, curiosity, and questions are encouraged in this opportunity to learn about what works, what we have discovered along the way, and what folks should be mindful of in creating similar programs. Creative Placemaking On the Go: the Power of Partnership Jerry Puryear, Mill Creek Community Partnership Cass Green, Mill Creek Community Partnership Join us in an inter-active session discussing MCCP’s "Fine Art Through Our Eyes Community" Arts Initiative’s sustainability, expansion, increased capacity, resident engagement, and innovations in creative placemaking/keeping and its impact throughout West Philly and neighboring communities through creativity, connections, cultural/community collaborations, partnerships, and alliances. The session will include highlights of neighborhood art & cultural assets, mapping, knowledge sharing with local art, agency and community collaborators, and conclude with a tour of FATOE’s Artbus (retrofitted airport shuttlebus formally featured in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Phila Assembled Exhibition). The ArtBUS serves as our mobile art classroom for creative place-making on the Go. Participants will receive a Collaborators Mapping Template for “On the Go Place-making."

Other Sessions

Creative Placekeeping: Art Pop Lancaster, PA Salina Mayloni Almanzar, Independent Artist (employed at F&M College and Drexel University) This session will describe the process behind Art Pop as well as the collaboration between individuals, local organizations, the city Public Art Committee, and the city at large. The collaborative approach was crucial to the success, trust-building, and success of the project. It will present a slideshow of the work in the park, describe how each activity or pivot point was created and used to advance the project. Ultimately, the sessino will engage the audience in a dialogue as an artist and community member dealing with the tension between the arts, rapid gentrification, and segregation in Lancaster City. Trash Academy, Building Equity Leadership Shari Hersh, Mural Arts Philadelphia Ron Whyte, Trash Academy Trash Academy Leaders, Trash Academy Trash Academy, “a collaboratory,” affirms and acts on the values of environmental justice, believing those who are most impacted by environmental challenges should be at the forefront of crafting and enacting solutions. Trash Academy members collaborate with artists, activists, and other community members, to research, design and implement creative interventions that educate and shift attitudes around trash. Speaking at the Climate March, the City Council hearing on banning plastic bags, and other civic contexts, members become leaders in educating and transforming their own communities and activated citizens for a More Just future. In this session learn our strategies and story. Making Touchstones: Building Community Through Making Art Karen Singer, Karen Singer Tileworks, Inc. Participants will be provided with clay, tools and inspiration to create one or more "touchstones", objects that convey a message to a loved one or to themselves, as a transmitter of a message of deep meaning. I see this session as a time to relax and connect informally with other participants. I have seen through experience that a process like this can create an opportunity to process and absorb the content of other conference sessions. During the session, we may discuss how individual creative projects such as this can be combined to form a work of art that "works" in a public setting, a complex challenge at the heart of creative place-making.

Breakout Session 6

Board Chair: Colleen Finnegan Kahl

Founding Director: Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

28 Valley Road

Montclair, NJ 07042


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