Welcome to the Creative Placemaking Resource Hub

a2ru News, Creative Placemaking

Aug 2, 2021

By Sarah Calderon

When I first started teaching a course on creative placemaking with Maria Rosario Jackson at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University, I couldn’t quite imagine where to begin. Then, considering that it was going to be an online class (even pre-Covid), the class became particularly challenging to design. There were several reasons that this course design was so difficult.

First, creative placemaking is about place and community. How could students understand this topic—this way of working where place is so central—without partnering with, and working within, community?

Second, creative placemaking is interdisciplinary, which requires basic, working knowledge of many topics. How much knowledge from arts and culture should be included and how much knowledge from equitable community development is needed prior to the course or ought to be presented in the course?

Third, creative placemaking is a young field. What are the resources that can be drawn upon given this stage of field development, while also acknowledging that artists have been working toward community outcomes forever?

And finally, how can one consider ideas of place, equity, and arts and culture in conversation with students who might never have thought about some of these issues before?

The Creative Placemaking Resource Hub is working to support these questions and more. It provides a one-stop shop for those learning about or communicating about the work happening at the intersection of arts and equitable community development. The Hub guides educators on the key values of the work while also providing efficient access to the tools they need. The fact that there is now a place—one place—that can support educators from higher education and beyond as they structure their teaching is both exciting and necessary.

The Hub will house shareable curricula, syllabi, toolkits, videos, podcasts, scholarly articles, origin documents, case studies, and much more. For example, the case studies that Appalshop, the Indigenous Design and Planning Institute at the University of New Mexico, Christine Harris, and Arizona State University have created will all be found here.

ArtPlace America funded a2ru to host the Hub because we believed that developing the next generation of leaders and establishing a knowledge base was work that higher education institutions, and those that work for these institutions, were uniquely qualified to do. We are so excited to see how this work bolsters the field, scales innovative teaching practices, and becomes a space for sharing with a strong community of practice.


Sarah Calderon is the Executive Director of Creatives Rebuild New York. Previously, Sarah was the Managing Director of ArtPlace America from 2015 to 2020. In this role, Sarah led strategy, finance and operations, management, and grantmaking strategies for higher education. Previously, she was the Executive Director of Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education (Bronx, NY) from 2008 to 2015. Before joining Casita, she founded and ran Stickball Printmedia Arts in East Harlem, a printmaking and digital arts organization for youth. Prior to that, Sarah was with the NYC Department of Education creating the Annual Arts in Schools Report—a data collection, analysis, and reporting effort for arts education in NYC’s public schools. She also consulted at MPR Associates, managing education research and evaluation projects from design through publication. She has worked as a teaching artist in Chicago, Oakland, and New York City. Sarah holds a BFA in printmaking and a BA in psychology from the University of Michigan; and an M.Ed. in arts education from Harvard University.

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