Creative Placemaking: Towards and Evaluative Framework
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Creative placemaking has an important role in cultural community development. Collaborations and partnerships are intrinsic to the development of these initiatives that seek to engage their communities through the use of the arts. However, as creative placemaking gathers credence in their efforts in shaping community development, placemaking initiatives are burdened with the difficult task of evaluating their impact on their communities. The National Endowment for the Arts has expressed that creative placemaking projects should increase residents’ attachment to community, increase the quality of life, stimulate arts and culture activity, and stimulate economic development. While these indicators are important in understanding the stability and vibrancy of a community, they are subject to other influences that are outside of the control of a creative placemaking project. Therefore, creative placemaking initiatives have often found difficulties in demonstrating their direct impact on their communities based on these indicators alone. I argue that creative placemaking should not be evaluated solely on these indicators to determine success, but rather, to also incorporate the evaluation of the partnerships and collaboratives that are used within a creative placemaking’s process. By doing so, this will allow policy makers, funders, and evaluators the opportunity to recognize that the impact that collaboratives have within creative placemaking, as well as present a more holistic approach to the overall evaluation of creative placemaking outcomes.