Reset with Creative Economy and Placemaking

As neighborhoods and towns are adapting to socially distanced community gatherings, arts administrators are being called on to serve as rapid responders in creatively rethinking public use of spaces. John Delconte, instructor for Arts Extension Service’, says, “COVID, like all crises, gives us a chance to hit the reset button.” Planners and municipal leaders are turning to artists and arts administrators to help shape the social character of places by creating new types of distanced events, addressing increased needs for public gathering locations, and supporting smart growth initiatives.

Delconte who will be teaching Creative Economy and Placemaking, a six-week intensive online course this Winter Session, explains, “We can all agree that we should use our design skills to create more open spaces where people can congregate in our neighborhoods. This means changing parking spaces to outdoor seating, creating more bike lanes, considering more pedestrian malls. The extra time outside can be spent sharing our art and culture in gathering spaces, which is one of the most important ways to make a vibrant city.”

The field of creative placemaking has been growing exponentially over the past decade. From art in parklets to street murals, municipalities have become accustomed to experimenting with ideas of redesigned places prior to creating permanent change. Now, amidst COVID and calls for addressing racial justice, there is an immediate opportunity for arts administrators to amplify diverse voices, envision new cultural assets, and redefine what makes a vibrant place. In the face of recession and the need to come together outdoors, this class will explore how bringing the arts in community spaces has the potential to renew our quality of life and play a major role in reshaping the transformative potential of our places.

Become inspired by the possibilities by registering for Creative Economy and Placemaking. Registration opens October 14. The course begins on December 7, 2020 and ends January 16, 2021. To register for a class online, learn more on the Courses page, and click on “class details” below the course’s description to register. For help with registration, contact us at aes@acad.umass.edu.