NPN amplifies the work of our organizational partners and artists rooted in community-centered practices and civic engagement. In 2017, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts’ Our Town/Knowledge Building Initiative, we set out to better understand and share how creative placemaking and placekeeping are practiced within our distinct network.
While the language and framing of creative placemaking are relatively new, artists, culture-bearers, and arts leaders have been practicing placemaking and placekeeping for ages, particularly within communities of color. This digital library is a collection of stories of, by, and for the artists, organizations, and community members at the center of civic practice.
“While NPN is typically understood as a network of progressive arts organizations committed to social justice, much less attention has been paid to the network as a community development resource,” says Maria Rosario Jackson, one of the lead strategists in the creative placemaking field and a former board member of NPN. “In fact, many of the organizations historically involved with NPN have also played key roles in shaping the communities where they reside.”