Public ART & Placemaking Toolkit for Rural Communities

Creative Placemaking

September 28, 2018

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“In Creative Placemaking, partners from public, private, nonprofit and community sectors strategically shape the physical and social character of a neighborhood, town, tribe, city or region around arts and cultural activities. Creative Placemaking animates public and private spaces, rejuvenates structures and streetscapes, improves local business viability and public safety, and brings diverse people together to celebrate, inspire and be inspired.”

– Anne Gadwa Nicodemus and Ann Markusen, writers of the Creative Placemaking White Paper


Congratulations! You live in a rural place. Chances are, you travel to purchase your major supplies or you order some of your goods online. Your local coffeehouse or diner is a central gathering space. You read your local newspaper alongside national news, and you know most of the people who populate the stories. You choose to live in this place purposefully – maybe your family has history in this community. You weigh in on local issues because your voice counts. For all of these reasons and more, your rural location is perfect for placemaking and public art. Public art and art-making are community-based – informed, supported, and enriched by local participation.

You see an opportunity to create change in your community, and you know that innovative art and placemaking might be the best way to engage your community in that change. You have two decisions:

1) Install temporary works of art

2) Begin to create a public art program that impacts your local town or county capital improvement projects from the start.

Installing a temporary project is the simpler way to begin. Besides the amazing learning experience, if your first project isn’t quite what you hoped, it is temporary and you can remove it and try again.

Jackson Hole Public Art forges partnerships for the integration of art into any environment, to inspire lasting cultural, educational and economic benefits.

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