Art Works Blog

Creative Placemaking

Mayor Buttigeig (standing) of South Bend, Indiana, presents his case study at the recent MICD conference in St. Louis. Photo courtesy of the Mayors' Institute on City Design At the end of April, I had the opportunity to go to my hometown, St. Louis, for the latest session of the Mayors’ Institute...
Here I am with Saralyn Reece Hardy, who directed the NEA's museums and visual arts programs from 1999-2002. Saralyn's now the director of the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. Photo courtesy of the Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas As I wrote...
Here I am with my fellow panelists from the creative placemaking discussion at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre in Little Rock. From l-r: Joy Pennington, Arkansas Arts Council; Beth Weidower, Arkansas Delta Rural Heritage Development Initiative; Bob Hupp, Arkansas Repertory Theatre; Warwick Sabin,...
Here I am in Ajo with the International Sonoran Desert Alliance staff who are working to restore Ajo’s town plaza. And now, here’s the scoop on the second part of my California and Arizona trip. After Los Angeles, it was on to Phoenix. There, of course, our host was our own National...
I’ve been California---and Arizona---dreaming for the last couple of weeks. This was probably my longest trip that I’ve had so far at the NEA. I flew into Sacramento, and went right out to Yolo County to visit the Yolo County Art & Ag project, which has received an ArtPlace grant...
The Curley School in Ajo, Arizona, after being renovated by the International Sonoran Desert Alliance. Photo by Ron McCoy Built in the early 20th century, the Curley School was once the architectural jewel of Ajo, Arizona, a former copper mining town just 40 miles north of Mexico. But once the area...
Theaster Gates. Photo by Lloyd DeGrane, University of Chicago Magazine "Artists have to live passionately and deeply, share what they want, do what they can." --- Theaster Gates As you'll learn in the interview below, for Theaster Gates , there is no clear division between canvas and...
Here I am in Evanston meeting with local civic and arts leaders about the city's Our Town project. Photos by Eric Palmer, City of Evanston, Illinois. Last week I was in Chicago for a tour of two great projects: the Our Town grant we made to the City of Evanston , and then an ArtPlace-supported...
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, First Lady Sandra Deal, and Georgia Council for the Arts Director Karen L. Paty at the Council's strategic plan kick-off event in Atlanta. Photo courtesy of Georgia Council for the Arts My wife Sandra and I were brought up influenced by music from both the church...
Here's an "action shot" of our press conference in Fargo on the city's Our Town grant. Photo by M. Sauvageau My latest Art Works tour took me to Minnesota and North Dakota. I started at the MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis. To some degree my whole NEA agenda started at MacPhail Center; I...

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