Lever Press has published a new pathbreaking book on the humanities, Extraordinary Partnerships: How the Arts and Humanities are Transforming America, edited by Christine Henseler, Chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and Co-Director of 4Humanities at Union College. Her "inspirative and hopeful collection demonstrates that the arts and humanities are entering a renaissance that stands to change the direction of our communities." (book jacket)
Among the authors are Kim Cook of the Burning Man team, Ella Maria Diaz of Cornell University, Ari W. Epstein of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Doris Sommer of Harvard University as well as Christina Lanzl of the Urban Culture Institute. Her essay, Toward a New Paradigm: Public Art and Placemaking in the Twenty-First Century, is featured in part 1 of the anthology, Toward a New Common Humanity: Creating Space, Context, and Moment.
Christina Lanzl, initiator and co-author of the Placemaking Manifesto, applies its six principles from her professional practice and research to highlight examples of extraordinary partnerships. These public art and placemaking initiatives, created in partnership with diverse communities, offer key insights, provide tips and offer potential for new endeavors.
The six principles anchored in the Placemaking Manifesto:
1. Placemaking = Quality of Life
2. Placemaking = A Sense of Place
3. Placemaking = Caring About the Community
4. Placemaking = Collaboration and Communication
5. Placemaking = Active Participation
6. Placemaking = Tradition and Innovation
Christine Henseler (editor). Extraordinary Partnerships: How the Arts and Humanities Are Transforming America.
Amherst: Lever Press, 2020: 108-148.
The book is available as an open resource.
Abstract – "Toward a New Paradigm: Public Art and Placemaking in the Twenty-First Century" by Christina Lanzl
Quality of life and caring about community are at the core of a contemporary movement, which is increasingly becoming a grassroots-driven approach to consciously embrace the places we inhabit: Successful placemaking, the arts and culture––in short, ways for people to engage in public––are at the center of thriving, functioning neighborhoods. How can we create successful public places that provide all with powerful incentives for active participation? Which tools can we employ to ensure diversity and inclusivity? What kind of hands-on processes can be utilized? Are there universal platforms for discourse? Which creative activities and solutions produce improved, shared environments? This essay will look at strategies that encourage inclusive neighborhoods with ways to bridge the past, the present and the future.
Placemaking activates our lived environment, offers cultural grounding and sense of place. Makers of all disciplines come together to think, plan, create and celebrate together. Storytelling is key to sharing community and place. Stories introduce ways to deal with difficult pasts, bridge differences and celebrate our common humanity. How are digital and social media as well as grassroots communication used to further community building? How can our built environment––architecture, open space, landscapes or parks, public art, and infrastructure be activated without being overbearing or becoming stale?
The new paradigm of placemaking is to eliminate professional boundaries, to bring together professionals with engaged citizens of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. Everyone can contribute to community, in both urban and rural contexts. Methodology and practice will complement case study examples to underline approaches and various perspectives. Experience shows that placemaking practice is overcoming the limitations of individual disciplines that have traditionally served to design and activate public spaces, such as architecture, urban design, landscape architecture, arts and community or social programs
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