SAN JOSE, CALIF., November 18, 2010—San Jose is among 13 cities selected from across the country to be featured in a new national research report entitled Creative Placemaking—a report that puts forth strategies for leveraging the arts to help shape and revitalize the physical, social, and economic character of neighborhoods, cities, and towns.
Written by Dr. Ann Markusen, principal of Markusen Economic Research Services, and Anne Gadwa, principal with Metris Arts Consulting, commissioned by the Mayors’ Institute on City Design (MICD) and supported by National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Creative Placemaking showcases American communities that have worked to animate public and private spaces, rejuvenate structures and streetscapes, improve local business viability and public safety, and bring diverse people together to celebrate, inspire, and be inspired.
Two San Jose Projects Named Best Models for Placemaking
San Jose’s 01SJ Biennial was cited for its marrying art to Silicon Valley technology. For 2010, the 01SJ Biennial brought together a selection of artwork that not only changed the way a city looks, but changes how it responds to the behavior of a city’s inhabitants. Comprised of artists, designers, engineers, filmmakers, marketers, data miners, architects, non-profit organizations and corporations, the 01SJ Biennial presented nearly 50 new art commissions, exhibitions, public art, street celebrations, music, film, performances, symposiums, panels, and exhibition during this 4 day Biennial.
“This year’s Biennial was about how powerful ideas and innovative individuals from around the world can make a difference and come together to build a unique, citywide platform for creative solutions and public engagement. It is about imagination feeding the inspiration needed to build a world we want to live in and are able to live with,” said Kerry Adams Hapner, director, San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs.
In addition, San Jose was cited for its Creative Entrepreneur Project—an initiative to make San Jose a more “artist-friendly” city where artists could build and sustain significant parts of their careers.
“Civic and business leaders in the San Jose have long championed the need to attract and sustain a diverse talent pool of artists – ‘creative entrepreneurs’ who work in both the commercial and nonprofit sectors and represent a wide range of talents as musicians, architects, dancers, animators, painters, writers, web and graphic designers, filmmakers, photographers, DJs, craft artists and more,” said Adams Hapner. Following significant public/private investments in arts and cultural venues and non-profit arts organizations, leaders sought to animate the city with cultural happenings and wide-ranging artist involvement.
City cross-agency partnerships provided artist business training, professional development scholarships, a web-based resource guide, and commissions for artists on public transportation and other public art projects.
“Recognizing that there is a direct connection between business innovation and creative entrepreneurs, artistic dividends continue to result in the enhancement of the built environment, civic engagement, and appeal of a city and region as a place to live, work and play.
NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman said, “Dr. Markusen’s report lays out the elements, benefits, challenges, and how-tos of using the arts in smart and sustainable community design. San Jose’s 01SJ Biennial and the City’s Creative Entrepreneur Project are excellent examples of how art and culture help shape communities where residents want to live, work, and play. ”
Report is Guide to Create Distinctive Urban Characteristics
Since 1986, the Mayors’ Institute on City Design has helped transform communities through design by preparing mayors to be the chief urban designers of their cities. MICD organizes sessions where mayors engage leading design experts to find solutions to the most critical urban design challenges facing their cities. Sessions are organized around case-study problems. Each mayor presents a problem from his or her city for the other mayors and designers to discuss.
Ron Bogle with the American Architectural Foundation notes, “AAF advocates for the power of the arts and design to transform communities. Dr. Markusen's report gives significant validity to this claim and inspires mayors and other civic leaders to incorporate design as a key driver for community development and an integral component in their leadership portfolios.”
“Mayors ‘get it’ when it comes to creative placemaking. As shown in this report, there are a number of examples where mayors have led the way in using the arts to rejuvenate neighborhoods and spark business development,” said Tom Cochran, U.S. Conference of Mayors CEO and Executive Director. Along with 01SJ Biennial and the Creative Entrepreneur Project, 12 other projects serve as real life examples to those interested in undertaking creative placemaking. Those other projects are:
· Art—A Rural Community’s Newest Crop: Arnaudville, Louisiana
· After Autos … Artists: Artspace Buffalo Lofts: Buffalo, New York
· After School Matters in Chicago, Illinois
· Community Developers Partner with Theaters: Cleveland, Ohio’s Gordon Square Arts District
· Art as Healing: Fond du Lac Reservation, Minnesota
· Art Shores Up the Walk of Fame: Remaking Los Angeles, California’s Hollywood
· Chasing Artists, Not Smokestacks: Paducah, Kentucky Artist Relocation Program
· Transforming Neighborhoods and Lives: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s Mural Arts Program
· Animating Infrastructure: Phoenix, Arizona Public Art Program
· Building Community, Boosting Ridership: TriMet’s Interstate MAX Public Art Program: Portland, Oregon
· Mayors and Artists Spark a Renaissance: Providence, Rhode Island
· Unusual Bedfellows Transform the City of Music: Seattle, Washington
The report is available on the NEA web site, http://arts.gov/pub/CreativePlacemaking-Paper.pdf
ABOUT THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS
The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government that has awarded more than $4 billion on projects of artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at arts.gov.
ABOUT THE CITY OF SAN JOSE
From its founding in 1777 as California's first city, San Jose has been a leader, driven by its spirit of innovation. Today, San Jose stands as the largest city in Northern California and the Capital of Silicon Valley—the world's leading center of innovation. The city, the 10th largest in the U.S., is committed to remaining a top-ranked place to do business, to work and to live. For more information, visit, www.sanjoseca.gov.
ContactsSteven Brewster (415) 577-8851 mobile
San Jose Office of Economic Development
National Endowment for the Arts