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News May 6, 2016

Measuring the Impact of Arts and Culture on Neighborhood Revitalization

A study just released by the Pew Charitable Trusts (http://goo.gl/S2Mufe) uses Reinvestment Fund’s Displacement Risk Ratio (DRR) to analyze gentrification and other types of neighborhood change in Philadelphia since the year 2000. The report found that gentrification, when defined as a neighborhood’s shift from a mostly low-income population to a middle or high-income one, was relatively limited. It also found that the speed and scope of the process varied substantially from one gentrified neighborhood to another. The DRR (referred to as the ‘affordability index’ in the report), was essential to understanding those variations, and the implications for longtime residents

 
 

Arts, Culture and Community Renewal

Congressional testimony in support of increasing funding for the National Endowment for the Arts by our former CEO, Jeremy Nowak.

 
 

From Creative Economy to Creative Society

Brief authored by Susan Seifert and Mark Stern, University of Pennsylvania’s Social Impact of the Arts Project, uses a social policy lens to look at the impact and potential of the creative economy for urban neighborhoods. While the growth of the creative sector is helping to regenerate regional economies, it is also exacerbating economic inequality and social exclusion among urban residents. This brief reviews current trends and proposes a new model–a neighborhood-based creative economy–as a way to move the 21st century city toward shared prosperity and social integration.

 
 

Migrants, Communities and Culture

Brief authored by Susan Seifert and Mark Stern, University of Pennsylvania’s Social Impact of the Arts Project, uses the Philadelphia experience to explore whether culture can help engage new immigrants with other social institutions. The brief looks at the role of migrant cultural expression in urban neighborhoods, existing institutional barriers, and how migrants’ adaptation to their social marginality is changing “mainstream” culture.  A century ago, the settlement house movement used culture to link immigrants to opportunities in education, employment, and health care. Can the arts play a similar role in Philadelphia today?

 
 

Cultivating “Natural” Cultural Districts

Brief authored by Susan Seifert and Mark Stern, University of Pennsylvania’s Social Impact of the Arts Project, uses existing research on urban culture and community arts to make a case for culture-based revitalization from the bottom up. This brief highlights a particular kind of social network—the geographically-defined networks created by the presence of a density of cultural assets in particular neighborhoods. Because “natural” cultural districts evolve through the self-organized efforts of local players, the challenge for policy-makers is how to do sensitive social investment that maximizes community benefits.

 
 

Crane Arts: Financing Artists’ Workspace

This brief discusses the conversion of an old factory into artist workspace and examines the project’s impact on the neighborhood and the arts community.

 
 

Creativity and Neighborhood Development: Strategies for Community Investment

Resulting from Reinvestment Fund’s collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania’s Social Impact of the Arts Project (SIAP) and the Rockefeller Foundation, this report demonstrates that the intrinsic value of arts and culture can be a key ingredient in neighborhood revitalization by nurturing a wide range of local assets, building social capital and promoting entrepreneurial and civic growth. The publication calls for investing in community-based creative activity to enhance its place-making role and potential, and offers investment ideas for three specific areas: creativity, development and knowledge.

 
 

The Power of Place-making

Resulting from Reinvestment Fund’s collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania’s Social Impact of the Arts Project (SIAP) and the Rockefeller Foundation, this publication provides a summary of the report on Creativity and Neighborhood Development: Strategies for Community Investment.

 
 

Culture and Urban Revitalization: A Harvest Document

Report by by Susan Seifert and Mark Stern, University of Pennsylvania’s Social Impact of the Arts Project, which serves as the foundation study for the Reinvestment Fund-SIAP collaboration and writings.