Artist-Planner Collaborations

Lessons Learned From Arts and Culture Ecosystems For Inclusive Planning

Grant Patterson and Leah Binkovitz

City leaders have an opportunity to critically engage with community-rooted artists and cultural organizations to orient arts and culture efforts toward communities’ most pressing issues. Artists should be more than resources for neighborhood promotion, but rather, key stakeholders in navigating neighborhood change. While some efforts in the cities discussed below have begun to move in this direction, there is opportunity to deepen the involvement of artists and cultural workers in the various streams of work going on in changing neighborhoods.

This report seeks to understand the state of cultural planning in three peer cities—Houston, San Antonio and Denver. These cities share some key traits. They are experiencing rapid socio-demographic and economic changes which play out in dynamic and contested ways across the cities’ neighborhoods. Furthermore, neighborhood leaders, as well as planners and policymakers, have become increasingly driven to central issues of context sensitivity, cultural preservation, equitable development and equitable access to resources. The study reveals emerging themes by reviewing planning documents and interviewing key stakeholders in the arts and culture ecosystems of those three cities.

Source: Report Introduction