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A second example of community engagement through the arts is Irrigate, an effort by Springboard for the Arts to enlist artists in shaping the billion-dollar light-rail project linking the downtowns of Minneapolis and St. The light-rail line passes through some of St. Their presence is felt all up and down the line: here with a sculpture that looks like a mutant fruit tree, there with a stretch of chain-link fence festooned with colored glass tiles.

Every week, strange and wondrous art has popped up in convenience stores, bus stops, restaurants and construction zones. Arts and culture, even if rooted in place and tied to community engagement, will contribute to community revitalization only to the extent that they engage private, public and nonprofit policies, practices and investments. The arts have to take into account other disciplines such as health, the environment, housing, transportation, education and human services.

They have to interact with the financial, governmental and nonprofit sectors. One way is when arts and cultural activity produces a sufficient critical mass to start a chain reaction of revitalization. That set in motion a redefinition of the downtown district. The for-profit sector followed the artists, with restaurants and shops providing employment, purchasing from local vendors and generating street vitality. That activity in turn created the preconditions for residential investments, which have brought tens of thousands people of all ages, ethnicities and income levels downtown.

Even pro sports got into the mix, with the Twins baseball stadium replacing an enormous surface parking lot on the edge of the district. All of a sudden — or more accurately, over a decade — the arts had set in motion a downtown environment that was walkable and accessible by multiple forms of transportation, filled with commercial and cultural amenities and occupied by a diverse residential population.

Arts and culture can also join with other systems by participating in the formation and implementation of a city, community or neighborhood plan. Paul light-rail planning process. Let me mention the potential for it to drive community planning at a larger scale in Detroit.

Creative placemaking: Rethinking the role of arts and culture in strengthening communities

Over the last three years, Detroit has developed the Detroit Future City Framework, which provides a blueprint for how the city can address this challenge. It creates an investment framework that calls on the city to build out its nodes of strength and convert its abandoned and vacant land to productive uses, whether urban farming, reforestation, natural stormwater-runoff landscapes or countless other gestures.

And that is exactly what has happened. The fourth quality of creative placemaking is the willingness and capacity of arts and cultural organizations to assume an outward orientation. For all sorts of understandable and justifiable reasons, the arts and culture community can often be inwardly focused. Part of that is necessary — there is no substitute for continual cultivation of sound and efficient systems of finance, administration and artistic mission.

But increasingly, that is only part of the puzzle. The fate of cultural institutions is inextricably intertwined with the fate of their host communities. Walk into Wing Luke and you are immersed in the experiences of Asian Pacific immigrants. The museum is nestled inside a building erected in as a rooming house and commercial-social hub for the growing immigrant community. This plays out beyond propelling visitors to neighborhood commercial establishments.

As their director Beth Takekawa notes:. When you care about the health of your community and the small businesses that support it, you cannot set yourself apart. One must go to these meetings about sanitation or public safety or transportation or housing development issues.

Online Constructing Place Mind And The Matter Of Place Making

Perhaps that's not your area of expertise or knowledge set, but if it's important to the neighborhood you have to be there too. Place based. Focused on community engagement. Concerned with issues of community renewal. Outward facing. A great deal, I would suggest. It strikes me that some of your most compelling attributes parallel the four qualities of creative placemaking.

A decade ago, I took the lead in a struggle to prevent the demolition of the Guthrie Theater on the Walker Art Center site.


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In its formative years, it was the creative expression of the foremost Shakespearean director of his era, Sir Tyrone Guthrie. A two-way portal for actors, directors, costume and set designers, choreographers, composers, writers, lighting technicians, audiences. All the theaters represented in this room are an antidote to this blindness. The second point of relevance of creative placemaking stems from your power to build social cohesion. Bob Putnam of Bowling Alone fame uses the term "social capital" to describe the informal networks of social support that bond people of like beliefs and that bridge people across difference.

Building local resiliency through placemaking - Matt Bibeau - TEDxUNE

Every decision Mixed Blood makes — artistic, programmatic, organizational, financial — is driven by a profound sensitivity to the ripple effects it will have in the larger community. It describes its approach as follows:. But as Mixed Blood reminds us, theaters can — as I suspect so many of you do daily — cultivate both the bonding and bridging social capital that Putnam describes. By inviting us to step outside our immediate experience into a world of shared ideas and imagination.

By creating a public platform undergirded by a fundamental respect for reasoned civil discourse. The creative process — whether the restoration of an historic theater, the presentation of programming within it or the embrace of the community in which a theater nests — ignites the collective imagination and bends individual inclination towards a shared civic pride. It is the gift you all offer to your host communities. Rocco framed his remarks to you two years ago around the transformative effect of Proctors Theatre in Schenectady. When I served as deputy mayor in Minneapolis some 20 years ago, our office was sucked into a mind-numbingly complex set of negotiations over whether, and the extent to which, the State Theater should be renovated and incorporated in a hotel-office project called La Salle Plaza.

3 Placemaking Lessons From the Magic Kingdom

The stars aligned, and it was done magnificently. Such obscure ambiguity lends information realism a conceptual fluidity that makes it unfalsifiable. Whereas vagueness may be defensible in regard to natural entities conceivably beyond the human ability to apprehend, it is difficult to justify when it comes to a human concept, such as information.


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We invented the concept, so we either specify clearly what we mean by it or our conceptualization remains too vague to be meaningful. In the latter case, there is literally no sense in attributing primary existence to information. How can the felt concreteness and solidity of the perceived world evaporate out of existence when we look closely at matter?

Instead, we must stick to what is most immediately present to us: solidity and concreteness are qualities of our experience. The world measured, modeled and ultimately predicted by physics is the world of perceptions , a category of mentation. The phantasms and abstractions reside merely in our descriptions of the behavior of that world, not in the world itself. Where we get lost and confused is in imagining that what we are describing is a non-mental reality underlying our perceptions, as opposed to the perceptions themselves.

We then try to find the solidity and concreteness of the perceived world in that postulated underlying reality. However, a non-mental world is inevitably abstract. And since solidity and concreteness are felt qualities of experience —what else? The problem we face is thus merely an artifact of thought, something we conjure up out of thin air because of our theoretical habits and prejudices.

Tegmark is correct in considering matter—defined as something outside and independent of mind—to be unnecessary baggage. But the implication of this fine and indeed brave conclusion is that the universe is a mental construct displayed on the screen of perception. As I elaborate extensively in my new book, The Idea of the World , none of this implies solipsism.

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