Arts and culture are essential for building community, supporting development, nurturing health and well-being, and contributing to economic opportunity. Welcome to www.communitydevelopment.art, the website which presents evidence, ideas, resources, and voices from this exciting intersection of fields. This site was first launched in May 2019 with early findings from research on the ArtPlace America Community Development Investments initiative (CDI). In December 2020, the site was relaunched with new material documenting and analyzing the CDI experiences. In December 2020, the site was relaunched with new material documenting and analyzing the CDI experiences. In December 2021, another round of written and video resources has been added to this website to expand the perspectives of CDI participants, the reflections of the initiative’s leaders, and articles and book chapters produced about CDI. Please check out the newest brief on the “core competencies” needed for organizations to succeed in this type of work, the video interviews with nearly 40 CDI participants, and the links to press and scholarly attention to CDI. The site was also broadened to include material about other community-based arts and culture projects that have been documented by PolicyLink, and to WE-Making: How Arts and Culture Unite People to Work Toward Community Well-Being, the extensive report authored by Metris Arts. The We-Making report components are complemented by related resources for practitioners and researchers compiled by PolicyLink and the Center for Arts in Medicine at the University of Florida.
A core focus of ArtPlace America’s Community Development Investments program was to learn from how six organizations in urban, rural, and tribal areas were able to incorporate arts and culture into their work, help them achieve their missions more effectively, and bring about positive outcomes for their communities.
These organizations have grappled with local equity issues such as pressures of gentrification and displacement, health equity, affordable housing, and questions around the preservation and development of identity. As the research and documentation partner to ArtPlace, PolicyLink collaborated with the participating organizations, their arts partners, and local community leaders throughout the program’s duration (2015-2019) to harvest the knowledge gained, lessons learned, and impacts observed when arts and cultural strategies are deployed in service of comprehensive community development and planning.