Required Reading

Zachmann photos (21 of 54)Just kidding. Nothing in art is necessarily required.I am, however, gearing up to write a post about art in small towns (like Fergus Falls!). As part of my research, I stumbled upon this list. Take a look! What do you think? Do you have more small towns to add?

America’s Top Small Town ArtPlaces 2013

While you’re at it, check out the rest of the ArtPlace website. They’re a group dedicated to creative placemaking. It’s also interesting to note that Fergus Falls, the hometown of Zachmann Studios, recently received a NEA grant for creative placemaking. What is creative placemaking? Here’s the ArtPlace explanation:

“Successful creative placemaking…

…places artists and art at the center of planning, execution and activity.

…leverages the creative potential already present in a place. All places have creative potential just waiting to bubble up. Even while drawing on resources from beyond the community, leveraging local artistic and organizational talent and assets increases the value in a community and the commitment to it, while nurturing an enduring sense of place.

…creates opportunities for people of all income levels and backgrounds to thrive in place. As its value increases, a place that is intentionally inclusive and connected is more likely to spur economic opportunity and allow people to succeed where they are.

…supports economic diversity in the community, providing multiple points of entry and interaction for people of all incomes. The more economically integrated a community is, the more access to opportunity exists for all.

…creates interesting places that capitalize on distinctiveness. A creative approach improves the aesthetics of a place, whether it is the look, feel, sound or even smell. The difference sets that place apart as more interesting than others. A place that expresses its distinctiveness and resists commodification and sameness is more likely to have long-term appeal.

…creates a place where people want to go and linger. Successful places attract people beyond those required to be there. People lingering is an investment of time in a place and is apt to lead to additional investments.

…contributes to a mix of uses and people that makes places more diverse, more interesting and more active, thus making spontaneous interaction more likely. Intensifying and mixing activities creates the promise that visitors can stumble onto the fun, mingle with other people, or happen upon opportunity.

…fosters connections among people and across cultures. The relationships built among diverse groups of people create safer, more open places that create more opportunity and foster a sense that everyone is welcome.

…is always presenting itself to the public and encouraging pedestrian activity. Whether open or closed, a place that is a consistently interesting and active presence to the street promotes more pedestrian activity and creates the public perception that the place is safer and more animated. More pedestrians mean more prospective customers on the street to support more small businesses.

…creates a place where business wants to be. As a place becomes more active, commerce is likely to respond, thus giving people even more reasons to be there.

…convinces people that a place can have a different and better future.”

See more at:

Pretty cool, right? Stay tuned for the upcoming post about art in small towns.


One thought on “Required Reading

  1. Pingback: DEADLINES | ArtPlace invites letters of inquiry for “creative placemaking projects” | in the Culture of One World

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