The Role of Artists & The Arts in Creative Placemaking

In May 2014, the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts (BOPA) and the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) cluster of Washington, DC organized a symposium entitled The Role of Artists and the Arts in Creative Placemaking. Seven curators from Austria, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Spain, and the United Kingdom met 12 organizers of arts activities from the three designated Baltimore Arts Districts (Station North, Highlandtown, and Bromo Art), as well as three artists who also serve as city consultants in Providence (Rhode Island), Worcester (Massachusetts), Minneapolis (Minnesota), and three nationally-acknowledged experts.

Each of the participants is experienced in promoting the arts in their cities on a city-wide or neighborhood scale. They are actively involved in organizing placemaking efforts in dialogue with artists on the one hand, and with stakeholders such as neigh- borhood residents, city administrations, proprietors, neighborhood organizations and executive authorities on the other. The American participants often identify them- selves as “risk-translators.” Being curators for the arts in an urban context, they are a trusted face on the artists’ as well as the stakeholders’ side.