This report brief provides examples of how UPMOs and placemakers are expanding their role in economic development and reclaiming public spaces for the people.
Explore the implementation of placemaking projects and use of tactical urbanism traffic calming funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies Asphalt Art Initiative in mid-sized cities throughout the United States. This session will include a deeper dive into logistics, challenges and successes experienced in Richmond, Virginia.
Gallery Alley began as a temporary pilot project with the goal of creating more walkability and increasing safety. Downtown Wichita received a grant to reestablish the space as a permanent destination for an intersensory art experience. Five Kansas artists were commissioned to create sculptures with a multi-sensory approach in order to be accessible to those with vision as well as those who are blind, visually impaired, and for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Let’s Glow SF is a 10-night holiday activation, the largest holiday projection mapping event in the country. Shows were played in a continuous loop with custom music starting at 5:30 pm and ending at 10:00 pm. Each light show ranged in length from five to seven minutes. Let’s Glow SF received wide media praise for its innovative use of art and technology to bring visitors and workers back to downtown, which had been suffering under the economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In October 2021, Partner Tulsa and Downtown Tulsa Partnership unveiled a 15,000sf mural titled “The Majestic” on the five-story façade of the Main Park Plaza garage in the center of the Downtown Tulsa Art Deco District. TPA collaborated with the Tulsa Arts Commission and Downtown Tulsa Partnership to undertake this public art commission focused on reinvigorating with activity and interest. At the time of the unveiling and today, The Majestic is the world’s largest augmented reality mural.
Washington, DC is known for historic monuments and national treasures. The central business district is not necessarily known as a hub for artistic creativity or for being “cool.” However, in 2017, the Golden Triangle BID embarked on a groundbreaking partnership with the Smithsonian’s historic Renwick Gallery to change that perception. The fruits of this collaboration, six breathtaking, large-scale public art installations, are on view now through December 2018 throughout the Golden Triangle, all within a short walk of the museum. The installations are part of a larger exhibition dedicated to the art of Burning Man, an annual festival that takes place in Nevada. The Renwick had access to more artwork than they could physically fit into the gallery so the first-ever outdoor extension of a Renwick exhibition was born. As a result, residents and tourists now have the opportunity to experience these extraordinary artworks on a daily basis. To track community engagement, the BID has installed pedestrian counters near the artwork locations to develop estimates on visitors. The exhibitions have generated national and international press coverage including The Washington Post, BBC and National Geographic. The artworks remind people to slow down and shake up routines in a way that is joyful and unexpected.
Kemi Ilesanmi is the Executive Director of The Laundromat Project, which brings arts, artists, and arts programming into local coinops to amplify the creativity that already exists within communities. With over 15 years experience in the cultural arena, she is inspired by the immense possibilities for joy and social impact at the intersection of arts and community. Prior to joining The LP, she was Director of Grants and Services at Creative Capital Foundation.
This creative placemaking toolkit was created specifically for business districts, offering guidance on engagement with local artists to best enhance the experience and vitality of a place. This guide showcases strategies to integrate the talents and ideas of multiple artists to best address the unique opportunities and challenges in BIDs. The toolkit includes case studies of the six unique placemaking projects funded by IDA, Springboard for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.