Creative Placemaking: How, Why, Outcomes

February 23, 2012 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm

Chicago Cultural Center
78 East Washington St.
Fifth Floor Millennium Park Room

Ann Markusen, Arts Economy Initiative, University of Minnesota
Anne Gadwa Nicodemus, Principal, Metris Arts Consulting

Markusen and Nicodemus present the results of a national scan of successful creative placemaking efforts, defined as the revitalization of a city, neighborhood or region around arts capacity and offerings. From case studies of fifteen diverse and regionally representative cases, including Chicago's After School Matters, they draw defining features of creative place-making: exceptional initiators, designing around distinctive local traits, building public will, attaining the support both of arts and cultural leaders in the city/region and of private sector developers,  and leveraging resources from non-arts sectors.

Markusen and Nicodemus will also address the challenges: forging partnerships, countering community skepticism, assembling financing, clearing regulator hurdles, ensuring maintenance and sustainability, avoiding displacement, and developing metrics of performance. The study, commissioned by the Mayors Institute on City Design and the National Endowment for the Arts, can be accessed at

Markusen will also talk briefly about her team's recently completed work on California's arts and cultural ecology, using Cultural Data Project and other secondary data sources to probe the size, missions, and city/regional locations of 11,000 arts and cultural nonprofits.

Ann Markusen is Director of the Arts Economy Initiative and the Project on Regional and Industrial Economics at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs and Principal of Markusen Economic Research. Markusen's arts and cultural publications include California's Arts and Cultural Ecology (2011), Nurturing California's Next Generation Arts and Cultural Leaders (2011), Creative Placemaking (2010), Los Angeles: America's Artist Super City (2010), Native Artists: Careers, Resources, Space, Gifts (2009), San José Creative Entrepreneur Project (2008), Leveraging Investments in Creativity Artist Data User Guide (2008), Crossover: How Artists Build Careers across Commercial, Non-profit and Community Work (2006), Artists' Centers (2006), and The Artistic Dividend (2003). Markusen is a frequent public speaker and policy advisor on arts and culture in the US, Brazil, Japan, Korea, and Europe, and recently completed a year at UK Fulbright Distinguished Chair at the Glasgow School of Art (2010-11).

Anne Gadwa Nicodemus is principal of Metris Arts Consulting, which provides research and analysis to help arts and cultural activities strengthen communities – and vice-versa. A choreographer/arts administrator turned urban planner, Nicodemus is a leading voice in arts and community development. With her frequent collaborator, Dr. Ann Markusen, she has authored a number of major reports and journal articles, most notably Creative Placemaking for the Mayors' Institute on City Design (2010), which helped to define the field, and "Arts and Culture in Urban and Regional Planning: A Review and Research Agenda" (Journal of Planning and Education Research, 2010). Through her How Art Spaces Matter reports (for Artspace Projects, 2010 and 2011), Nicodemus integrated a range of research methods and data sources across five spaces and four cities to reveal art spaces' community and arts-related impacts. Nicodemus holds a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs and a B.A. from Oberlin College.