Creative Placemaking on location

Creative Placemaking

Inspiring a Positive Sense of Place

What is Creative Placemaking?

The Arts Commission is the leading organization in Toledo driving creative placemaking efforts. Creative placemaking is defined by the National Endowment for the Arts as follows: "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." Through this work, The Arts Commission is engaging artists and organizations in six of Toledo's original neighborhoods to lead creative efforts that speak to building neighborhood community, culture, and revitalization.

Engagement to Inspiration

Creative resident-led engagement drives civic change that inspires reuse of public spaces, creates healthier, safer environments, and increases the vibrancy of our greater community.

The Arts Commission asks to be guests in neighborhoods to work alongside residents, community leaders, and stakeholders. We partner with local artists to celebrate and elevate neighborhood cultural identity while working to identify and address needs with dynamic cross-sector solutions. Through this process, we beautify spaces, increase programming, and inform opportunities for residents to impact economic and service systems that deliver sustainable change.

Empower communities, support neighborhood identities, and beautify public spaces through the common language of art.

Working with community

Strategic Plan for Arts & Culture

In 2015, a Strategic Alliance Partnership grant established a commitment between The City of Toledo and The Arts Commission to create a Strategic Plan for Arts and Culture (TSPAC) that will support cultural vibrancy, economic revitalization, to connect and grow the rich network of creative life that exists in Toledo. The planning process included more than one year of public engagement in 8 neighborhoods surrounding downtown Toledo: Cherry Street Area, Dorr Street Area, East Toledo, Olde North End, Old South End, Old West End, UpTown, and Warehouse District. The plan identifies 10 key objectives using the collective voices of residents, artists, and neighborhood leaders that will be adopted into the City of Toledo 20/20 Plan.

Strategic Plan (PDF)

Our work is currently focused in seven core neighborhoods surrounding downtown Toledo, including Vistula, Lagrange Street/ONE Village, Old West End, Junction, Historic Old South End, East Toledo, and Uptown.

Current Projects

Flora & Fauna Murals

The Arts Commission's Creative Placemaking program recently worked with local artists to create a series of local Flora and Fauna-themed murals. Two of three artworks in the "Reclamation Series" have been completed: "Reclamation | Uptown Water Cycle," located in Laburnum Alley at 18th Street and Adams (behind Carlos Poco Loco and adjacent to a rain garden in Uptown Green Park), and "Reclamation | East Toledo Flood Plain Train," located at Harry Kessler Park, 328 Main Street. Both murals were completed by Graphite Design + Build and Natalie Lanese.

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Reel Kids

REEL KIDS419 is a Youth Media show/program where youth share their unique perspective on topics such as violence, programming and the community narrative.

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Summer Programs for Youth

Summer Programs, including Goal Miners and Circles + Verses, give local youth opportunities to grow through positive interactions with each other and mentors. These programs are free and appropriate for youth ages 12 - 17.

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Pick One

The mission of the Pick One campaign is to provide a means of expression to children of inner city upbringing. Pick One artist leaders have positive interactions with teens, ages 13 - 18.

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