As regions, communities and neighborhoods incorporate placemaking into their future plans, it is imperative to integrate the arts into the process of determining current values and future goals. This list provides resources a community or organization can use to integrate arts and culture into their placemaking initiatives.


AARP Placemaking and Public Places

AARP provides articles, reports, case studies, surveys and more for information on creating liveable communities. They highlight resources for placemaking and public spaces in order to create change and improve communities for people of all ages.

Blackbaud for Arts and Culture Organizations

The Bolz Center for Arts Administration at the University of Wisconsin, Madison partnered with Blackbaud and the Alliance for Arts Research in Universities (ar2u) to centralize resources for higher ed institutions interested in engaging with creative placemaking and provide a platform for sharing new stories with the field.

National Assembly of State Arts Agencies

The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) is a national, not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization that champions public support for the arts in America. Resources include a section on policy research, measurement and evaluation and case studies.

  • The Creative Placemaking Public Resources Guide helps community development practitioners, artists, and arts and cultural organizations survey the landscape and decode the language of federal government funding opportunities that might support creative placemaking efforts. This resource is a collaboration between NASAA, ArtPlace America and Metris Arts Consulting.

National Consortium for Creative Placemaking

The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking is a nonprofit that informs and supports people and organizations through national, regional and local programs, which embody the spirit and values of creative placemaking. Their resources include webinars, summits, trainings and more.

National Endowment for the Arts Creative Placemaking Resources

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has collected resources and case studies from communities across the country regarding using artists, designers and cultural organizations as an essential role in realizing community-driven transformation.

  • Creative Placemaking Toolkit
    The NEA and Local Initiatives Support Corporation, National Creative Placemaking Program (LISC) created this interactive guide especially to support local leaders as they embark on the work of bringing diverse partners together to integrate arts and culture into community development and planning.
  • Evaluation as a Tool for Creative Placemaking
    NEA Deputy Director for Research and Analysis Patricia Moore Shaffer leads a webinar on how program evaluation can play a role in designing and implementing creative placemaking programs. Joined by researchers Rachel Engh of Metris Arts Consulting and Lynn Osgood of GO Collaborative, they discuss how the arts are directly linked to the results of desired community change.
  • How To Do Creative Placemaking
    An action-oriented guide for making places better. This book includes instructional and thought-provoking case studies and essays from leading thinkers in creative placemaking. It describes the diverse ways that arts organizations and artists can play an essential role in the success of communities across America.

Community Visioning

Municipal Research & Services Center: Creating a Community Vision

This resource includes general guides about developing a vision statement, and includes sample local government statements and processes.

Project for Public Spaces

As the central hub for the global Placemaking movement, Project for Public Spaces connects people to ideas, expertise and partners who share a passion for creating vital places.

Better Block Foundation

Better Block Foundation is a nonprofit that educates, equips and empowers communities to reshape and reactivate built environments to promote the growth of healthy and vibrant neighborhoods.

Building Healthy Places Toolkit

This toolkit outlines opportunities to enhance health through changes in approaches to buildings and projects. The resource provides 21 evidence-based recommendations that are supported by action-oriented, evidence-based and best practice strategies used to create places that contribute to healthier people and communities.

Orton Family Foundation: Community Heart & Soul Model

This resident-driven vision planning model creates lasting change in towns and small cities by encouraging all residents to identify what matters most in their daily lives and what makes their town special. The resource takes into account both the unique character of a town and the deep emotional connection of the people who live there.

Asset Development Report

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Asset Development Report features case studies from seven distinct communities and strategies employed to re-energize their economies using existing assets.

VISTA: What is Asset Mapping?

VISTA offers a course on activating asset mapping within your community. Asset Mapping is a tool, which relies on a core belief that good things exist in communities and that those things can be highlighted and encouraged.

Rural Arts Development

Art of the Rural

Art of the Rural is a collaborative organization with a mission to advance rural culture and quality of life through relationships that connect communities, cultivate dialogue and forward rural-urban exchange.

Center for Rural Affairs Community Development

The Center for Rural Affairs is a leading force for engaging people to build a better rural future. They provide information on rural recovery and community development in order to create stable communities, family farms, small businesses and local schools.

Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design

Focusing on communities with populations of 50,000 or less, Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design seeks to enhance the quality of life and economic viability of rural America through planning, design, and creative placemaking.

Jackson Hole Public Art: Public Art & Placemaking Toolkit for Rural Communities

This guide by Jackson Hole Public Art outlines nine steps required to set up a successful rural public art project. Considerations include how to assemble a team, conceptualize a soulful idea that reflects local assets and people, gain resident support, raise funding, commission an artist and install the art.

Rural Arts Marketing

The “ArtUp: Rural Arts Marketing” webinar, hosted by Adam Thurman, author of the Mission Paradox, focuses specifically on the unique issues and opportunities available for those who produce art in rural areas. The session will help you develop a marketing process that fits your artistic goals, makes the most of your resources and thrills your audience.

Rural Placemaking: Making the Most of Creativity in Your Community

This Rural Voices issue highlights a variety of Creative Placemaking initiatives across rural America including economic development in the Mississippi Delta, housing developer collaboration with arts groups and artists and a tribal development project.

Rural Prosperity Through the Arts & Creative Sector

This Rural Action Guide for governors and states offers research insights and lessons learned from states that are harnessing the power of the arts to drive rural prosperity. Produced by the National Governors Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices in collaboration with NASAA and the NEA, the guide offers creative policy solutions that draw on home-grown arts and cultural assets to address the urgent problems facing rural America.

Creative Solutions, Initiatives, & Resources

Travel Iowa

The “ArtUp: How Travel Iowa Can Promote your Community, Destination or Event” webinar, presented by Shawna Lode of the Iowa Tourism Office, highlights how the Iowa Tourism Office team of marketing experts can connect your community, destination or event to hundreds of thousands of potential travelers.

Creating Connection

Creating Connection is a national social change movement focused on advancing the position of arts, culture and creative expression in America. It builds on previous efforts to promote arts and culture, but is grounded in new research and a unique approach to building public will that creates change that stands the test of time.

Americans for the Arts: Arts & Economic Prosperity 5

The Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study highlights the nonprofit arts and culture industry’s impact on the economy. It documents the economic contributions of the arts in 341 diverse communities and regions across the country, representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Springboard for the Arts

Springboard for the Arts provides training on creative community development through a variety of intensives including train-the-trainer intensive cohort, community development practitioner training and artists working in community training.

Using Arts and Culture to Advance Equity and Inclusion

This toolkit highlights successful examples of how arts and culture can be utilized in multiple sectors in equity initiatives. Examples from a variety of communities illustrate how to engage the community through arts and culture to make a more welcoming, inclusive community.

Iowa Arts Council Resources


These free professional development events presented by the Iowa Arts Council are designed for Iowa’s artists, arts organizations and communities. Participate in online and in-person learning and networking opportunities to enhance the quality and capacity of the arts in Iowa as well as access the ArtUps archives to view past webinars.

Arts Directories

Use the Arts Directories, including Iowa Art Agencies and Iowa Art Festivals, to connect to arts activities and resources in the state of Iowa.

Calls for Artists

If you are an artist looking for opportunities to create in the community, exhibit or have your work recognized, check the Iowa Arts Council calendar for upcoming calls for artists. Communities interested in advertising a call for artists for creative placemaking initiatives can also submit their opportunities.

Public Art Fundamentals Webinar Series

This four-part webinar series presented by the Iowa Arts Council in Spring 2022 explores aspects of effective public art programs. The sessions address topics including public art committees, funding, maintenance and master plans.