Laura Zabel - Change the Narrative: Measuring Placemaking’s Effect on Neighborhood Narrative

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Information about Laura Zabel - Change the Narrative: Measuring Placemaking’s Effect on...
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Published on March 7, 2014

Author: placemakersus

Source: slideshare.net

Description

Laura Zabel, Executive Director, Springboard for the Arts

When you ask Mayors or community organizers what their biggest challenge is, often they say “helping people believe that change is possible.” This session will use the Irrigate project in St.Paul, Minnesota as a case study to share how many small, locally-grown, creative placemaking projects can contribute to a change in neighborhood narrative and lead to greater agency and equity in the community.

Laura Zabel is executive director of Springboard for the Arts, an economic and community development agency based in Minnesota. Springboard provides programs that help artists make a living and a life; and programs that help communities tap into the resource that artists provide. Some of Springboard’s projects include: Community Supported Art (CSA), which is based on the Community Supported Agriculture model and connects artists directly with patrons; the Artists Access to Healthcare program, which was awarded the 2010 Social Entrepreneur’s Cup; and the Irrigate project, a national model for how cities can engage artists to help reframe and address big community challenges. Springboard’s programs have been replicated in over 40 communities across the country. Laura was recently named one of the 50 most influential people in the nonprofit arts and received the 2012 Visionary Leader award from the MN Council of Nonprofits. She has been one of Minneapolis Business Journal’s 40 Under Forty and Minnesota Monthly’s 12 Minnesotans Who Can See the Future. Laura serves on advisory boards for the Knight Foundation, Twin Cities LISC and the University of Kansas.

@springboardarts @irrigatearts

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While the City of Saint Paul tried feverishly to garner positive coverage for the benefits of transit that the Central Corridor would bring to the community, their positive message was consistently diluted in the media by negative stories about the impact of construction. As Irrigate projects began popping up along the Corridor in unexpected ways, the disruption of the many small projects quickly had a surprising impact. The magic of art started a different conversation, something that couldn’t have been predicted but was such a blessing. Irrigate’s public process engaging artists from the community to support local businesses provided a nimble and creative way to influence the narrative and change community perceptions of the value of community development. Irrigate’s approach taught the public sector that sometimes it’s alright to let go of the bureaucratic process to allow for a more organic process of community engagement. -Nancy Homans, Policy Director, City of Saint Paul

“The press may not be successful much of the time in telling people what to think, but it is stunningly successful in telling its readers what to think about.” -Bernard Cohen (1963)

Source: McQuail & Windahl (1993)

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