Branding Your Neighborhood, Town, or City

Posted by Cally Vennare, Jun 24, 2013 1 comment

Cally Vennare Cally Vennare

How do you utilize the arts to foster civic identity, cultivate tourism, and brand your city, town or neighborhood?

Four arts leaders. Four diverse markets. Four distinct audience segments. While the cities and circumstances may differ, their authentic and creative approach to problem solving, consensus building, and collaboration did not. Here are their key insights and takeaways from last week’s 2013 Americans for the Arts Convention.

Andrew M. Witt, St. Johns Cultural Council (St. Augustine, Florida)
“Be real. Find the asset in the community that is going to be of interest to someone not in your community and sell that in a realistic way. The worst thing that can happen is to not meet (customer) expectations. If you don’t, they’ll tell 10 people; if you exceed expectations, they’ll tell 2 people. So you have to deliver on the promise you made.”
Learn more about the work of the St. Johns Cultural Council here.  

Robert Vodnoy, Aberdeen University/Civic Symphony (Aberdeen, South Dakota)
“The lesson in all the different stories that I told you is: the general impulse of the community is to have civic pride and not want to touch the stories that are problematic. Or to sanitize them. But I think the cultural tourist is more interested in the whole story. So I think the challenge is to get the civic identity to embrace its complete self, and not to walk away from what is actually a rich story just because it’s a little ‘icky.’ It’s a tougher story, but it’s a much more interesting narrative. Embrace the dark side.”
Learn more about the Aberdeen University/Civic Symphony here.

Cookie Ruiz, Ballet Austin (Austin, Texas)
“In Austin, until the time when we were under duress, we had a tendency to argue with each other. After our cultural planning process, we realized an advocate voice was really better when it was a more cohesive voice. So this last time, instead of turning on each other…we really bonded together. And we have maintained those relationships. That’s been a good lesson for us and has really changed the way we’ve done everything.”
Learn more about CreateAustin, the city’s community cultural plan here.

Laura I. Zabel, Springboard for the Arts (St. Paul, Minnesota)
“The common thread I’ve heard is the need and the power of working across sectors and understanding what other people value in your community. Build the connections…and the social capital. Lead with how the arts and culture can support the goals of a city or neighborhood, fill a need or address a challenge. That is going to be a much more effective and ultimately sustainable way of working than just approaching it from what we, internally as an arts community, think we need.”
Learn more about Irrigate, Springboard’s artist-led, creative placemaking initiative here.

1 responses for Branding Your Neighborhood, Town, or City


July 10, 2013 at 6:43 am

North East Ohio Cleveland Area has been branded as the home of the Environmental Art(s) Movement:

BACKGROUND CHECK by Christa Herbert:

-- The Environmental Arts Movement was professionally organized by the The International Center for Environmental Arts (ICEA) founded by David and Renate Jakupca in 1987.
-- Environmental Art is the true indigenous art form of the greater Cleveland, Ohio area.
-- The ARK in Berea is the global home to the Environmental Art Movement.
-- David Jakupca is the recognized leader and the Spiritual Father of the Environmental Art Movement.
-- The 'Theory of Iceality on Environmental Arts' is now considered as the cornerstone of the modern sustainable global Environmental Art Movement and the concept is now replicated by urban designers, architects and artists throughout the World.
-- In 1993 in Vienna, Austria at the World Conference on Human Rights, ICEA, with the approval of U.S. Delegates, Jimmy Carter and Geraldine Ferraro, began recycling and promoting United Nations' World Conferences until 2007..
-- Through this partnership with the United Nations, ICEA has influenced a global audience of literally billions of people.
-- Environmental Art was used by the National Endowment for the Arts as part of their 1997 American Canvas Project that is currently used in all 50 States.
-- In 2000, David and Renate Jakupca were appointed American Cultural Ambassadors representing the US at EXPO2000, The Worlds Fair held in Hanover, Germany.
-- Environmental Art is the number one Art Movement in Cleveland, Ohio
-- Environmental Art is the number one Art Movement in America.
-- Environmental Art is the number one Art Movement Worldwide.

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