Rocco Landesman And Theaster Gates Discuss Creative Placemaking
September 11, 2012 10:28 AM
NEA Chairman and Joyce Awards Winner Discuss Views on How the Arts Contribute to Creative Community Development
On July 18, 2012, the Joyce Foundation welcomed 2010 Joyce Award winner, Theaster Gates and Rocco Landesman, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, to share ideas with Joyce president, Ellen Alberding, the Foundation’s board members and cultural leaders. A large part of the conversation centered on how the arts often do more than inspire; artists and cultural institutions impact other sectors by contributing to community rejuvenation, business growth, public safety, and more. This lively back and forth also helped illuminate new ways artists today are working. Rather than simply working with two-dimensional forms, artists are embarking on community engagement projects meant to transform neighborhoods and lives. Landesman recently wrote about his time in Chicago on the NEA blog.
Landesman often discusses the theory of “Creative Placemaking” – suggesting that the arts are critical to a thriving community, as integral as business and infrastructure. The Joyce Foundation also maintains a focus on arts and culture as part of its investment structure in the Great Lakes region, along with its other programs focusing on education, the environment, and workforce development, among others.
A portion of the Joyce Foundation's Culture Program grant making goes toward partnering with mainstream arts organizations to diversify program offerings, artists’ commissions, staff and board leadership to help achieve more diverse audiences. The Foundation also invests in capacity building for culturally specific, community arts organizations. These dollars strengthen arts activities in places where most live and work. Finally, Joyce invests in artists of color by developing the Midwest’s creative capital and community engagement through the Joyce Awards program.