The Reinvestment Fund (TRF), in collaboration with the Social Impact of the Arts Project at the University of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, continues to examine the ways creative activity and cultural engagement play a role in neighborhood economic development and what we call the Architecture of Community.
“Given their interrelated webs of universities, cultural institutions, design firms and culturally diverse population, all of which help attract creative workers and spur creative content, cities – like Philadelphia – are naturally positioned to take advantage of this sector. Yet, if we develop a more comprehensive view of how creative activity, particularly community-based arts and culture, interacts within cities, we can stimulate even more integrated and effective action in the development of distressed urban places.”
Creativity and Neighborhood Development, Strategies for Community Development, Jeremy Nowak
As a City agency, the OACCE wears many hats – we are a funder, a producer of art programs, a project facilitator and a cheerleader for arts, culture and creativity. We see this project as a way to provide some answers to our own questions, as well as those questions posed to us by our constituents. How can we help tell the story of Philadelphia’s creative renaissance? What tools need to be developed to support innovation in this sector? How can we encourage investment and smart growth? The online tool that we will create will help us examine the ongoing relationships between the arts and socio-economic data, between the arts and our neighborhoods, and between the arts and the future of our City. And yes, Mayor Nutter, there will be a lot of maps.