Yesterday, the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) announced that PolicyMap was chosen to develop a new creative assets mapping database for Philadelphia. We’ll be working with partners at the City and the University of Pennsylvania’s Social Impact of the Arts Project (SIAP) to build the database and launch it on the City’s website.
The creative arts and mapping database will be an interactive online mapping system powered by PolicyMap. It will explore local and creative businesses, cultural nonprofits, resident artists, and cultural participation in city neighborhoods and help identify clusters of creative energy throughout the city. The goal behind the database is to explore the linkages between culture and community and economic development to better understand and support Philly’s creative sector and the role it can play in revitalizing neighborhoods. The tool will serve as a networking hub for artists, creative entrepreneurs, cultural workers, and community activists.
The grant is part of the NEA’s new Our Town program, which, according to NEA chairman Rocco Landesman, will “create partnerships among local governments and arts and design organizations to strengthen the creative sector and help revitalize the overall community.” These public-private partnerships create innovative linkages “to strengthen the arts while shaping the social, physical, and economic characters of their neighborhoods, towns, cities, and regions.” See: http://www.nea.gov/news/news11/Our-Town-announcement.html
Mark Stern, University of Pennsylvania professor of social policy and SIAP principal investigator welcomed the news: “SIAP is very excited about its work with the City of Philadelphia and The Reinvestment Fund on this project. Our research has demonstrated a strong and persistent connection between cultural engagement and many dimensions of social well-being—increased civic engagement and neighborhood revitalization and declines in poverty, ethnic and racial harassment, and social stress. Working with our partners, we hope to develop a dynamic web-based data and mapping system that will be of use to researchers, community developers, the arts community, and ordinary citizens. Ultimately, we hope to encourage and enable ‘creative place-making’ as a strategy for community investment throughout Philadelphia neighborhoods.” See: http://www.sp2.upenn.edu/SIAP/.