New Session of Creative Placemaking with UBC Continuing Studies

By Karen Whaley

Want to learn more about how you can use the power of arts and culture to create change in your community? Artscape is excited to announce a new session of Creative Placemaking, an online course offered through the University of British Columbia as part of their Certificate in Cultural Planning. The course runs from Feb 18 – April 28, 2013, and is 100% online.
First offered in Fall 2012, the course is designed to provide you with the knowledge, skills, and inspiration required to investigate, develop, and implement creative placemaking projects. It is authored and instructed by Artscape’s Pru Robey, Director, Knowledge Exchange. Pru advises communities across Canada and internationally on strategies to support city-building through the arts.

What is Creative Placemaking?
Creative placemaking is the inter-disciplinary practice of leveraging the power of the arts, culture and creativity to serve a community’s interest while driving a broader agenda for growth, change and transformation in a way that also builds character and quality of place.

“When I found out that Pru from Artscape was teaching the course, I was very keen to learn from people who develop cultural centres in such a different way [than what I’m used to],“ says Lisa Hickey-Besserer, a Program Coordinator in the City of Calgary’s Public Art Program. “Toronto and Calgary are two very different cities—I wanted to gain that greater breadth of knowledge.”

Artscape has been a leader in the field of creative placemaking for over 25 years, having developed more than a dozen arts and cultural facilities across Toronto in vibrant neighbourhoods like West Queen West, Liberty Village and the Distillery District. In addition to offering Artscape’s insights, the course encourages students to explore and evaluate a range of approaches to creative placemaking including creative clusters, cultural districts, public art, temporary projects and pop-ups.

In recent years, there has been an explosion of interest in the creative community’s role in driving growth, change, transformation, and the new economy. This course will be especially relevant to arts and culture professionals, planning and economic development professionals, funders and others working in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors in towns, cities and regions of all sizes and locations.

Students in the first session came from places like Vancouver, Edmonton, Victoria, Oakville, Collingwood, Miami and even as far away as Brisbane, Australia. Despite being physically separated by thousands of kilometres, students were able to connect on an online forum to collaborate on assignments and group projects. Now that the class is over, they stay in touch via a Facebook group where they can continue to exchange ideas.

“It’s phenomenal to discover that you’re not alone in what’s going on in your city,” says Hickey-Besserer, “that there are similar things happening in similar places all across the world and being able to learn from your classmates. Being a part of those conversations is a real benefit. Otherwise you remain siloed, where you’re just focused on yourself, your city, and your own projects.”

If you’re interested in learning more about creative placemaking and how it can impact your community, register online with UBC Continuing Studies. The course runs from Feb 18th to April 28th 2013, and is 100% online. Early bird registration closes February 1st.
What Students are Saying:

“The course was very enlightening and considerably broadened my horizons regarding creative placemaking, especially in North America. I lived for seven years in the UK and travelled on the Continent considerably so my experience of place was from a European perspective. Also, I enjoyed connecting with and reading fellow students' projects.”

-Lynne Clifford-Ward, Municipal Cultural Planner, Town of Smith Falls

“This course was a good experience for me personally and professionally.  I found the readings very interesting and the assignments thought-provoking and challenging.”

-Tanya MazzaCoordinator, Arts and Culture, Parks, Recreation & Culture, Town of Collingwood

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