What were the specific goals of this creative economy project? Describe the community development challenge or opportunity that your project was designed to address:
ONE Neighborhood Builders looked to involve the Olneyville arts community in the larger revitalization of the Olneyville Square commercial district. The neighborhood had so many incredible assets, but suffered from a bad reputation due to the efffects of decades of disinvestment. Our goal was to highlight the strengths and potential of the commercial district as a symbol of the larger neighbohrood.
If the goals change over time, please describe how:
We realized that there were some aspects of commercial district redevelopment that we could control and others that we could not. Learning to tell the difference and maximize our effectiveness in those areas has created more impact.
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):
ONE Neighborhood Builders and the Dirt Palace were the two main partners in this project. However, additional funding and technical assistance for the project came from Rhode Island Housing, Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, Providence Art Culture Tourism and even NEFA through their Creative Economy Award!
How does this project relate to a larger community development strategy?
Physical Fabric was identified as a major community development strategy by residents and stakeholders as pat of a comprehensive community study in 2009. Many of our efforts have been guided by the idea that residents want Olneyville to look better, and to take pride in the place where they live.
What projects or places, if any, inspired your approach to this creative economy project?
Downtown Providence has been very active in the last several years installing significant public art pieces. These place making initiatives put a signature on certain areas and quickly become functional points of reference as well as local points of pride. We had been successful in incorporating the arts community in smaller-scale projects in Olneyville, but saw an opportunity to create our own signature art piece in the mosaic project.