Kresge Foundation Arts & Culture Program: The First Decade

Posted by Kresge Foundation on January 29, 2018

The Kresge Foundation’s decision to focus its arts and culture program on creative placemaking required not only agility but a sea change in its approach to grantmaking, a report from the foundation finds. The first in a series of studies focused on creative placemaking, the report, The Kresge Foundation Arts & Culture Program: The First Decade (12 pages, PDF), describes how, beginning in 2006, the program shifted its focus from challenge grants for capital campaigns, capitalization, and community arts to creative placemaking — in alignment with president and CEO Rip Rapson’s community development background and in response to challenges arts organizations faced in the wake of the Great Recession and rapid advances in digital technology. According to the report, effective creative placemaking requires cross-sectoral approaches that go far beyond the arts and include things like housing, transportation, health, and the environment. The report also found that some Kresge arts grantees have made organizational changes to support their creative placemaking initiatives, have explored new metrics and evaluation methods, and/or have developed publicly accessible tools and training for the implementation of those efforts.

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