In creative placemaking, partners from public, private, non-profit, and community sectors strategically shape the physical and social character of a neighborhood, downtown, city, or region around arts and cultural activities. Creative placemaking animates public and private spaces, rejuvenates structures and streetscapes, improves local business viability and public safety, and brings diverse people together to celebrate, inspire, and be inspired. In turn, these creative locales foster entrepreneurs and cultural industries that generate jobs and income, spin off new products and services, and attract and retain unrelated businesses and skilled workers. Together, creative placemaking’s livability and economic development outcomes have the potential to radically change the future of American towns and cities. Markusen and Gadwa, 2010
Drawing on creative placemaking to create a vibrant downtown public green space that highlights Baldwin City history, the City of Baldwin City, Lumberyard Arts Center and Baldwin City Library partnered to produce a free community arts class. Working with a lead artist, class participants will design and create five historically themed benches.
The first class is offered through the Baldwin City Library where participants will learn about Baldwin City’s rich cultural heritage with local experts including a tour of the Palmyra Post Office and Old Castle Museum.
The second class will take the information and each team, working with a lead artist, with decide on a theme. Throughout March and April, the teams will develop the theme and create a mural on their bench. These benches will be unveiled during the naming ceremony of Sullivan Square, formerly know as the downtown lotatorium, on May 15. Multiple goals are to 1) provide an opportunity for citizens to learn about Baldwin City history and share our stories through mural making and 2) create an engaging and vibrant environment that encourages citizens, as well as tourists, to regularly use Sullivan Square that will foster community connections.
Please see images for class details, information about the lead artists and more about the Baldwin City Library’s “The Story of Baldwin City.”