Recently a blank canvas, the Chamblin’s Uptown storefront came alive last week thanks to local muralist Shaun Thurston. Four more murals are set to grace the corners of the Yates Garage this spring and summer thanks to the Cultural Council’s Art in Public Places program in conjunction with the City of Jacksonville. And, One Spark is sure to bring even more art and innovation our way in less than a month.
These murals are one important facet of creative placemaking, the power of the arts to create new economies, cultural destinations and vital neighborhoods. A recent article by MinnPost makes the case for harnessing creative placemaking to foster human capital and stimulate economic development.
“We may be used to thinking of community development in terms of bricks and mortar, but the lifeblood of any neighborhood is the people who live there. The aim of community developers is to improve quality of life, not just build housing or beautify streets. Quality of life implies that residents have access to basic opportunities in their neighborhood, but also that they feel connected to that neighborhood, invested in it; they feel that they have a say in its future as well as their own.
Creating or experiencing art can give people a fulfilling sense of personal power. We all have something to say about the world, and art helps us find our voice. It can also help us find each other. Arts activities provide valuable opportunities for people to gather and interact. Personal power gained through art can become community power, and collective action that results from that power can be transformative.”
Read the whole article here: Let’s use the power of the arts to stimulate community development.