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July 1, 2016


Creative CityMaking: In Search of the New Village
By William Cleveland

In 2013 the City of Minneapolis and Intermedia Arts collaborated on Creative CityMaking, a program aimed at integrating creative thinking, strategies, and processes into the ongoing operations of City Departments. Functioning within the Department of Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED), five core projects enabled artists and planners to explore new ways to involve citizens who typically haven’t participated in planning processes.  Over the course of a year, the artist-planner teams created 22 different arts-based tools and strategies to stimulate learning and dialogue about possible community futures and assets. The resulting citizen input, shared in the form of chalkboard questions, street side theater, zine questionnaires, community journals, drawings, community discussion groups, impromptu interviews, happy hour conversations, video diaries, and the like, appreciably expanded the range and variety of community voices available to city planners. Creative CityMaking was supported by ArtPlace America.  

In this case study, William Cleveland, from the Center for the Study of Art & Community, offers an engaging in-depth excavation of the genesis, planning, and implementation of Creative CityMaking.  Detailed stories of the five collaborative projects at the heart of Creative CityMaking along with analysis of outcomes and learning provide an illuminating and instructive look at how collaboration between artists and municipal government can achieve more diverse participation and greater equity in public process.