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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.

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 Mural

Overlooking the neighborhood park UpTown Green, this mural will highlight the importance of the Maumee River watershed by showcasing some of northwest Ohio’s native flora and fauna. Designed and implemented by Graphite Design + Build, this softening of the landscape will act as a catalyst to promote safe routes for pedestrians and address blight. The installation will provide opportunities to engage community members, both during its execution and in a celebration at its completion.

Momentum Link

Toledoans were invited to take part in a collaborative art installation as part of Momentum and the Art Loop in partnership with Creative Placemaking. Local artist Caroline Jardine designed an “art-by-number” piece broken into 6x6 inch squares that were completed by 200 individuals. Once the pieces were returned they were reassembled and put on public display. Participants were given acrylic paints or oil pastels, but additional materials such as feathers, pompoms, glass, candy wrappers, sequins, and other ephemera were used to complete the piece.

Visit Caroline's Website

Community Art Kits

Our community partners helped our team distribute nearly 200 Art Kits to residents free of charge. These kits included a variety of art supplies and a “Let’s Create” booklet of prompts and instructions put together by local artists.