About This Summit

Finding Inspiration in Every Turn

Get more connected, inspired and empowered at the Northeast & Mid-Atlantic Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit.   Gain the knowledge and skills to help you grow new or better partnerships, projects, programs and policies.

The Summit is more than a conference.  It is a pop-up center on innovative and effective approaches to help communities through local arts and cultural ecosystems.  It is where up to 250 creative placemakers connect with fellow members of their community of practice.   It is a launching pad to explore exciting work being done in Schenectady, Troy and other communities in the Capital Region.  These cities deal with the same opportunities and challenges as cities throughout the Mid-Atlantic states and New England.   

With 40 sessions online or in-person, you can explore a wide range of topics:  community revitalization, local economic development, equity and inclusion, infrastructure, social practice art, and more.  

We're meeting online April 18 and 19. You can participate in sessions live, or watch recordings of any sessions you missed. (They will be available to you long after the Summit, so you can take your time.) You can visit the exhibit booths at your convenience to learn more about what’s going on in the creative placemaking field, and about organizations doing interesting work in New York’s Capital Region. Want to meet up with other participants, or maybe connect with an affinity group to find other people who share your interests or are from your area? You can do that in the online Social Lounge.

On April 20, you can get inspired by the Summit keynote presentation, which will be at Union College in downtown Schenectady. If you can’t make it in person, you can watch the presentation online.


On April 21 and 22, we’ll be together at Proctors Theater in downtown Schenectady. You can expand your creative placemaking toolbox through workshops, get and share big ideas in Strategic Conversations, sharpen your planning and design skills through Strategy Labs, or go on tours to see interesting things happening in the Capital District. There will also be events taking place in the community, including multiple Strategy Labs and a public art activity in downtown Schenectady on April 23, so please plan to stay over for the weekend.

Summit tickets range from $60 for the online only part of the Summit to $280 for the full Summit.  Single day tickets for April 21 and 22 are available.  All in-person tickets include the entire online portion of the Summit.  Register by April 4, before ticket prices go up.

The 2022 Northeast & Mid-Atlantic Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit is produced by Creative Placemaking Communities.

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What is a Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit?

Since 2014, Creative Placemaking Leadership Summits have connected, inspired, and empowered thousands of people who want to help communities thrive through local arts and cultural activities.


Summits attract a mix of practitioners, thought leaders, and funders from the worlds of arts, community and economic development, cultural tourism, placemaking, and public policy. Together, Summit participants explore timely and important topics -- such as gentrification and climate change -- through a mix of interactive sessions, workshops, strategic conversations and more. Most participants are executives or key decision-makers in their organizations, but everyone is welcome to be there. (And we value everyone’s perspectives.)

Every Summit is designed to incubate new or better partnerships, projects, programs and policies. To make that happen, we:

*encourage Summit participants to share their thoughts and knowledge with one another,

*offer sessions that challenge participants to think more critically and strategically, and

*provide the space and time for participants to make new connections -- both with people and ideas.

More than 3,300 people have engaged in Summits. More than 90% of them surveyed said they enjoyed their Summit, gained useful knowledge, and made valuable connections.

Creative Placemaking Leadership Summits were created by Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP, who founded the National Consortium for Creative Placemaking. He now leads the Summit program as President of Creative Placemaking Communities.

Why should I go...

To this Summit?

If you are looking for inspiration and ideas for new or better partnerships, projects, programs, or policies to help communities -- or just want to build more connections in creative placemaking -- the Summit is the right place to be.

It’s also a good place for educators and researchers in cultural planning and policy, arts administration, community and economic development, or urban planning and design to learn about model practices and meet leaders at the intersection of arts, cultural heritage, and public policy.

The Strategy Labs and tours will be in the Capital Region or the Hudson Valley. If you are, or want to be, doing creative placemaking in these areas, the Summit is a great opportunity to meet other people in these areas, and learn more about what’s happening there.
Most people who go to Summits are already involved in creative placemaking. If you’re new to this work, you can get a lot out of this Summit. But before you go to the Summit, we recommend you check out the Creative Placemaking Toolkit by LISC.

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To Schenectady?

Schenectady is like a lot of small cities in New England and the Mid-Atlantic region.  It is an ethnically diverse centuries-old riverfront and former industrial city of about 66,000 people.  It is about a 30-minute drive (or one-hour train ride) from Albany, the center of New York's Capital District. 

Like so many similar cities, Schenectady has been going through substantial change over the past few decades.  A place that once depended largely on General Electric, and suffered when the company moved most of its operations elsewhere, is now revitalizing with a mix of different industries and downtown and riverfront attractions.  

There's a trend now in the United States of people moving to smaller cities like Schenectady.  This creates a lot of opportunities and challenges, which creative placemakers are poised to address. 

Meet Our Executive Producers

Creative Development and Web Design by Lilith Haig

Summit Sponsors

The Northeast & Mid-Atlantic Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit, is, like any creative placemaking project, made possible by many partners.  We want to thank everyone who contributed time, funding, services and goods to the Summit.

Platinum Sponsor ($10,000+ or the equivalent in-kind)

Proctors Collaborative

Union College



Gold Sponsor ($5,000+ or the equivalent in-kind)

Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation

Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority

The Schenectady Foundation


Silver Sponsor ($2,500+ or the equivalent in-kind)

Northern New Jersey Community Foundation 

Discover Schenectady


Bronze Sponsor ($1,500+ or the equivalent in-kind)

Redburn Development Partners


American Planning Association Upstate New York Chapter

The Arts Center of the Capital Region


Event Sponsors

Museum of Innovation and Science

City of Schenectady


Session Sponsors

In-Kind Supporters

Electric City Barn


Promotional Partners

American Planning Association Latinos and Planning division

Capital Region Chamber of Commerce

Center for Economic Growth

Troy Business Improvement District


Center for Creative Land Recycling

Frog Alley Brewing