from Grantmakers in the Arts Reader
March 2014
By Adrian Ellis

Reposted from Grantmakers in the Arts Reader

Success Looks Different Now: Design and Cultural Vitality in Lower Manhattan 2013年6月,纽约建筑联盟(Architectural League of New York)发表了一篇论述流利的det365首页曼哈顿下城文化基础设施需求的报告. It concludes that the city “is in the midst of a generational shift in the definition, experience, and location of cultural vitality” and that, as a result, new types of spaces are required to support cultural activities – more informal, more flexible, 在过去的几十年里,世界各地的政治家和政策制定者都在关注更大的文化基础设施项目.

This rejection of the “icon as policy” alluded to in the title of the report was not its premise; the starting point was, on the contrary, that New York needs a big new theater complex on the waterfront, a stirring presence like the opera houses of Sydney, Oslo, Copenhagen, Reykjavik, or Cardiff, a proposition initially suggested by one of the authors of the report, Paula Deitz, in an article in the New York Sun in 2008. Following publication of that article, she and her collaborators secured a grant to explore the proposition and, in the process, unearthed the can of worms with which GIA readers are familiar: the unforgiving economics of big arts buildings; the systemic overoptimism that often informs their planning, most recently cataloged in the Harris School’s Set in Stone: Building America’s New Generation of Arts Facilities; the challenging trends in audience size and composition experienced by traditional art forms; the desire by younger audiences for greater interactivity and better hang spaces than are provided by the traditional performing arts venues; and the merits of spaces and cost structures that foster the colocation of production and consumption.

The report is interesting for what it says, 但它也很有趣,因为它诚实而公开地抓住了人们在思考艺术生产和消费之间关系时的范式转变, community and urban design. 它将目前在艺术界发展良好的对话与设计界的平行辩论bat365官网登录起来, and to the rekindled interest of both groups in imaginative, smaller-scale interventions that encourage informal public assembly and performance. 它强调,即使是更大的正式表演艺术中心,也只有在作为非正式的聚会空间时,才会为他们的社区工作.

This is, of course, the territory that was prioritized by the NEA under Rocco Landesman, and by the broad coalition of funders that have renewed their investment in ArtPlace America, which recently appointed Jamie Bennett, Landesman’s chief of staff, as its executive director. (Before the NEA, he had fulfilled a similar role for Kate Levin in New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs.)这些bat365官网登录重新组合和激发了简·雅各布斯(Jane Jacobs)和威廉·怀特(William Whyte)最先提出的det365首页城市规划和公民生活的思路,并在此过程中赋予了“旧”思维新的动力.

一项与政治决策和资源分配无关的议程被赋予了新的财政和政治影响力和合法性,Landesman积极地将联邦政府整合在一起, state, and local coalitions, and as ArtPlace secured an extensive network of high-profile funders and stakeholders. Whether the next chair of the NEA pursues this agenda or not, 现在可能有足够的动力和政府其他部门的介入,使得国家能源局的肩膀不再是关键. HUD’s current high-profile Rebuild by Design competition, for example, looking at urban planning strategies to deal with another Hurricane Sandy, has the contribution of culture and cultural organizations to resilience as an element in the brief.

The agenda has also stimulated some new critical thinking: about vibrancy, for example, and how to nail down a little more precisely what it means; about the relationship between planned and “naturally occurring” cultural districts; and about the neglected place of social equity in effective placemaking. 令人耳目一新的是,在过去的几十年里,许多det365首页艺术政策的写作都受到了倡导偏见的阻碍, 论点和数据的发展和挖掘完全是在说服潜在的资助者支持艺术的背景下进行的, with little interest in the complex causal relations between collective action and social, economic, and cultural impact. Culture is still an anemic and neglected area of public policy, compared with, say, health, transport, economics, or the environment, 但是,目前更多的是持续思考因果关系,而不太强调仅仅数数事物并宣称它们是好的.

This evolving direction in public policy – a deeper understanding of what cultural vitality and vibrancy mean when unpacked; of how it is developed and sustained; and of the reality that capital investment per se is ineffective unless informed by a broader conceptual framework – is also important from an international perspective. 强调在大型资本项目投资,det365首页见证了在文化部门在美国和欧洲在过去二十年的大部分有增无减:约2000亿美元一直致力于投资艺术世界各地的地区在未来十五年,在亚洲, the Middle East, Central and South America, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. 在诸如西九龙文娱艺术区和阿布扎比萨阿迪亚特岛等宣传更广的项目背后,是北京奥林匹克公园和基辅的文化区规划, Kuwait City, Hangzhou, São Paulo, Taipei, Seoul, and over fifty others.

Cultural districts have the potential to be powerful policy tools: they can encourage visitors and residents, young and old, to intermingle in ways that destratify, desegregate, and generally democratize; they can help build community and social capital; they can, in principle, incubate and inculcate creativity, and draw fickle high-net-worth tourists; and they signify and calibrate complex aspirations and identities. These projects are difficult to get right, and expensive and politically embarrassing to get wrong – often conceived and executed at speed, top down, and with a strong emphasis on architectural symbolism.

Many of them would benefit enormously, as those at the sharp end of their conception and execution are often aware, from more nuanced thinking about exactly the sorts of issues that are the preoccupation of ArtPlace America and its informed critics; of Success and its many kindred reports, like Susan Silberberg’s Places in the Making, which is concerned about relationships between the hardware and the software; between considerations of equity and economic development; and the changes in the character of arts participation to which designs should be open. Grantmakers in the United States have a notoriously limited appetite for excursions into cultural diplomacy, but here, at least, 只要继续提供有关令人着迷的培养皿的信息和课程,det365首页就有机会做出宝贵的国际贡献。培养皿是美国目前专注于有效的场所制造及其与不断变化的文化生产和消费动态之间的关系.


ArtPlace Vibrancy Indicators.

Fábrega, Alexa. 贝德福德-史岱文森的自然文化区及其公共空地:创造性适应的案例. New York: Pratt Institute, 2012.

Gastil, Ray, et al. Success Looks Different Now: Design and Cultural Vitality in Lower Manhattan. New York: Architectural League of New York, 2013.

Carroll, D., et al. Set in Stone: Building America’s New Generation of Arts Facilities, 1994–2008. Chicago: Harris School, University of Chicago, 2012.

Nicodemus, Anne Gadwa. “Fuzzy Vibrancy: Creative Placemaking as Ascendant US Policy.” Cultural Trends 22, no. 3–4 (2013): 213–22.

Silberberg, Susan. Places in the Making: How Placemaking Builds Places and Communities. Cambridge, Mass.: Department of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT, 2013.

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