What were the specific goals of this creative economy project? Describe the community development challenge or opportunity that your project was designed to address:
Goal: To engage community members in making and experiencing art that reflects and is relevant to their lives.
Our region is abundant with wonderful concerts, exhibits, plays etc. But there are many residents, particularly those in the City of New Haven, who do not participate in the arts offerings of the arts community. There are numerous barriers, perceived and real that prevent community members from fully engaging in the arts. We use this initiative to encourage arts organizations and artists to think differently about engaging with community members. Our small financial incentive encourage experimentation, to get outside the confines of arts venues.
If the goals change over time, please describe how:
The goals have not changed. We were pleased with the results of our first year and have selected projects for our second year. Perhaps not surprisingly, more individual artists than organizations responded to our request for proposals. For artists, who have few funding opportunities, our initiative offered a huge opportunity. One unexpected outcome is that our dollars have been used as leverage for the mayor's community grants, which fund projects that address neighborhood vitality.
Who was involved in this project and what did they do? (be sure to include the partners from outside of the creative sector and how local voices were included):
Artists and arts organizations, schools, libraries, social service organizations. Some of the projects target specific groups. In some cases, the artists had previous relationships with the partner organizations. In other cases, we've made introductions and facilitated partnerships.
How does this project relate to a larger community development strategy?
This project weaves the arts into community development. For example, one of the current projects will engage community members in creating two mosaic benches as part of a larger street beautification project in a blighted neighborhood. New trees will be planted and a community garden created.
What projects or places, if any, inspired your approach to this creative economy project?
So many from the Animating Democracy website. The Laundromat Project in NY, the Open Space project of the Walker Art Center etc.