Creative agencies : a model for building community capacity
Author(s)Ramaccia, Elizabeth M. (Elizabeth Marie)
Model for building community capacity
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
Anne Whiston Spirn.
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This research investigates how existing initiatives based in artistic and non-artistic disciplines build indigenous capacity for leadership in disenfranchised communities through the application of the creative process. There is a perceived disparity between the missions and processes of community-based arts initiatives and non-arts initiatives in practice and in literature. However, this thesis evaluates both types of initiatives against a set of measurements for successful capacity building and finds that all cases enlist a similar creative process. Often considered only in relation to artistic endeavors, an agenda-drive, democratic, creative process can incubate leadership. The components for such a process are identified and discussed in this research through in-depth narratives and analyses of three initiatives: the Highlander Research and Education Center in eastern Tennessee, Appalshop in eastern Kentucky, and the Village of Arts and Humanities in North Philadelphia. Despite widely varying vehicles for capacity-building - popular education and organizing, arts and media production, and spatial transformation and arts programming, respectively - all enlist the creative process. This research finds that the creative process can provide an analogous experience to that which community leaders enact to create change while concurrently developing a skill set that is transferable to the activities of community leadership. Additional benefits and impediments because of the use of the arts in capacity-building endeavors are discussed in this thesis. While indigenous cultural expression and artistic production are valuable when integrated, the initial motivations and backgrounds of the founding artists, the perceived competition between artistic production and leadership development, and the misconception of the purpose of their efforts by a broader audience, introduce challenges to capacity building. Additional challenges to all capacity-building initiatives stem from a mismatch between the measurements required by their funding sources and those that capture their most meaningful output.The findings of this research can provide guidance for new and veteran practitioners of leadership development, community development, or community-based artistic enterprises.
Thesis (M.C.P.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 2011.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 219-226).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.