Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"Are we artists or monkeys?" -- three essays about the current state of "creative placemaking"

We've spent a decade hearing about the "creative class" and "creatives" and "creative placemaking" at one arts conference after another. Young creatives are transforming neglected city centers into arts oases where the artrepreneurial economy thrives, or so the story goes. There are success stories, to be sure, but not every imagined "creative placemaking" project comes to fruition. In Cheyenne, we're still working on several projects that, if successful, can revitalize downtown. But we still have that ugly gaping hole at the core of our city center. Hard to imagine a thriving downtown with a hole in its middle.

A triple dose of reality comes from a story by Ian David Moss at and two others from the Adobe Airstream blog written by arts writer Ellen Berkovitch and "young arts professional" Hannah Hoel about the Imagined Futures project in Santa Fe which hasn't gone much beyond the imagining stage. One only has to look at the URL wording to see the tenor of the articles:

Ian David Ross:

Ellen Berkovitch:

Hannah Hoel:

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