Jump to Navigation

Neighborhood Movement

NRC Workshop Feature: Community Art

The following post was written by Kendall Reingold, summer intern for the Alliance for Children and Families Center for Engagement and Neighborhood Building.  She is an undergraduate student who has been assisting with the planning of the 2014 Neighborhood Revitalization Conference.
 
Can America’s communities really “make art, not war?”  Recent research and the efforts of organizations like those presenting at the Alliance’s 2014 Neighborhood Revitalization Conference suggest that perhaps this dream is indeed possible.
 
In recent years, community-based arts programs have blossomed across the nation; and not just because they’re fun.  Numerous studies have shown the importance of community-building initiatives in improving quality of life. One Harvard study even found that the degree to which communities work together toward common interests is a better indicator of the health and well-being of neighborhoods than wealth, access to healthcare, or even crime rates.  Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have found a link between arts programs, reduced rates of social distress, more peaceful interracial relations in urban neighborhoods, and even declines in poverty.
 
Local organizations have generated a diverse array of such arts programs, from spiritual art installations in parks to school theater initiatives that open a dialogue about social issues.  At this year’s Neighborhood Revitalization Conference, we have the honor of welcoming a discussion about these programs in a workshop entitled “Creative Placemaking: Arts Engagement and Agency.”  The workshop will feature four panelists: Erik Takeshita of the Twin Cities Local Initiative Support Coalition (LISC), Maria Rosario Jackson of the Kresge Foundation, Aviva Kapust of the Village of Arts and Humanities, and Faye Price of the Pillsbury House + Theatre.
 
Like other community arts organizations, the Village of Arts and Humanities and the Pillsbury House + Theatre are vital to their communities and have enriched them with creative outlets for residents of all ages.  However, they cannot always fund these projects alone.  Organizations like LISC and the Kresge Foundation play a crucial role in realizing community arts programs.  The growing network of support for these programs parallels the growing consensus that engagement in the arts is a key to the successful revitalization of America’s neighborhoods.
 
We hope you can join us for the 2014 Neighborhood Revitalization Conference!  For the latest details about the conference and these presenters, stay tuned on Twitter.  Follow the Alliance’s Center for Engagement and Neighborhood Building and keep up with conference news with the hashtag #NRC14.  We also encourage you to follow Erik Takeshita, Aviva Kapust, the Kresge Foundation, and the Pillsbury House + Theatre for updates on their organizations and the work they are doing to strengthen their communities through creativity.

NRC Workshop Feature: Engaging Communities for Better Health

The following post was written by Kendall Reingold, summer intern for the Alliance for Children and Families Center for Engagement and Neighborhood Building.  She is an undergraduate student who has been assisting with the planning of the 2014 Neighborhood Revitalization Conference.
 
The 2014 Neighborhood Revitalization Conference is proud to present a workshop that will provide an inside look at successful strategies to engage community members in improving their own health and wellness.  Featuring speakers from two Alliance member organizations, United Neighborhood Houses of New York and the Gary Comer Youth Center, as well as Aramark, an Alliance partner, the workshop offers three unique perspectives.
 
Jerica Broeckling, Program Manager of the Aramark Building Communities program at the Alliance for Children and Families will facilitate the workshop, entitled: “Using Authentic Engagement to Improve Health Outcomes.”  The panel will include Terry Kaelber, Director of Community Engagement Projects at United Neighborhood Houses of New York; Ayoka Samuels, Senior Program Director at the Gary Comer Youth Center; and Michelle Jordan, Director of Community Relations at Aramark. 
 
The presenters are committed to the importance of authentic engagement strategies.  Mr. Kaelber explains, “Working to increase access to and use of healthy food often involves changing individual eating habits.  Social norms drive eating habits and can be the doorway to changing individual behaviors.   To impact social norms, a level of deep community engagement is needed.”  For Kaelber, this means “projects must be driven and led by local residents, who are involved at the earliest points of idea generation and planning, are invested in through skill building and training opportunities, and who become partners and leaders throughout implementation and evaluation.  Such approaches are built upon relationships and a commitment to partnering, both of which take time and tremendous effort, but the rewards and impact can be significant and long-lasting.
 
Authentic engagement is a longstanding principle of community-based organizations, although the term itself is relatively new to the lexicon.  This workshop is sure to help your organization realize its potential for positive authentic engagement outcomes.  Register for the conference online to attend this workshop, which will take place on Thursday, July 24th, the first day of the conference.
 
Early bird registration for the Neighborhood Revitalization Conference in D.C. is available online until July 7.  For the latest details about the conference and these presenters, stay tuned on Twitter.  Follow UNHNY, Aramark, the Gary Comer Youth Center, and the Alliance’s Center for Engagement and Neighborhood Building, and keep up with conference news using the hashtag #NRC14.

Center for Engagement and Neighborhood Building Launches New Tumblr

The new Center for Engagement and Neighborhood Building at the Alliance for Children and Families is committed to “amplifying the values of the settlement house movement.” Technology allows for constant innovation in how we share the values and message of quality community development and civic engagement, and what it means for communities nationwide and around the world. To help us reach a wider audience with new and dynamic content, The Center is proud to announce its new Tumblr.
 
Tumblr is a savvy, multimedia tool integrating news, blogs, social media, photos, announcements, and connectivity to peer organizations and fans. This seamless sharing of information will allow The Center to bring new research, innovation, best practices, and success stories from the fields of neighborhood building and place-based policy to a wide audience in a fun, interactive, modern, and informative way.
 
We hope you’ll join us and the millions of other Tumblr users in using this fun new communications tool. Be sure to bookmark or follow http://ctr4engagement.tumblr.com/ and check us out regularly for news and updates from the field of neighborhood building.

NRC Workshop Feature: Data and Community Engagement

The following post was written by Kendall Reingold, summer intern for the Alliance for Children and Families Center for Engagement and Neighborhood Building.  She is an undergraduate student who has been assisting with the planning of the 2014 Neighborhood Revitalization Conference.
 
In this digital age of transparency, the openness of data matters. Especially in issues that concern communities. To effect individual and neighborhood-level change in American communities, today’s top non-profits are putting data in the hands of community members themselves.
 
The 2014 Neighborhood Revitalization Conference, co-sponsored by the Alliance for Children and Families and the Center for the Study of Social Policy, addresses this connection between data and communities in a workshop entitled “Engaging Community in Data Collection, Analysis, and Planning.”  Presenters Elsa Falkenburger, Leah Hendey, and Kathryn Pettit of the Urban Institute and Isaac Castillo of Alliance member organization the DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative (DCPNI) will lead the workshop.
 
Castillo, DCPNI’s Director of Data and Evaluation, emphasizes the importance of presenting data to residents in meaningful ways. “At DCPNI, we strive to include residents in the data collection process," he says. "We want residents to use data; the best way to get residents to use data is to have them involved from the point the data are collected through when the data are released publicly.”  This type of inclusive approach is important for all organizations trying to enhance their engagement efforts.
 
The interactive skill-building workshop, held on July 24, the first day of the Neighborhood Revitalization Conference, will showcase efforts to combine the skills of research experts with the deep knowledge that community residents have of their neighborhoods, as well as examples from the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership and the DC Promise Neighborhood of sharing data with community groups to spur new conversations and inform strategies.
 
Early bird registration for the Neighborhood Revitalization Conference is available online until June 24.  For the latest details about the conference and these presenters, stay tuned on Twitter.  Follow the Alliance’s Center for Engagement and Neighborhood Building and keep up with conference news using the hashtag #NRC14.  You can also follow Isaac Castillo and the Urban Institute for updates on their work in engaging communities with data.

NRC Feature: Successful Collaboration to Revitalize New Jersey

The following post was written by Kendall Reingold, summer intern for the Alliance for Children and Families Center for Engagement and Neighborhood Building.  She is an undergraduate student assisting with the planning of the 2014 Neighborhood Revitalization Conference. Continue to check the Building Neighborhoods blog for more NRC Features ahead of the July Conference.
 
We’ve all heard the tragic story: Camden, New Jersey, a metropolis overrun with crime; the poster child of postindustrial decline; the most dangerous city in America.  A case hackneyed by partisan arguments about violence, welfare, and industry, it sadly has not seen much in the way of solutions-based discussion, let alone viable action.  Until now, that is.
 
This year, the Alliance’s Neighborhood Revitalization Conference will feature a workshop entitled “A Shared Approach: Communicating, Collaborating, and Coordinating to Revitalize New Jersey Neighborhoods.”  Facilitated by Lois W. Greco of the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation and Community Development Corporation, Bradley Harrington of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Meishka Mitchell of the Coopers Ferry Partnership, and Staci Berger of the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey, the workshop demonstrates that it really is possible for residents, local stakeholders, corporations, and funders to work together toward a shared agenda.
 
The combination of public and private funding and the collaborative approach to revitalization implemented by these organizations have created physical, social and human capital programs, catalyzing measurable improvements in twenty six low-income New Jersey communities.  For instance, in the initiative’s Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit program, every dollar invested leveraged over seven dollars in additional resources toward jobs and affordable housing.  The cooperative public/private approach to uplifting New Jersey’s neighborhoods received the 2013 HUD Secretary’s Award for Philanthropic-Public Partnerships.
 
The workshop, held on July 24, the first day of the Neighborhood Revitalization Conference, will use the case study of Camden to discuss the real costs and benefits of such a large-scale effort and to demonstrate how other neighborhoods can implement similar public/private initiatives.
 
Early bird registration for the Neighborhood Revitalization Conference is available online until June 24.  For the latest details about the conference and these presenters, stay tuned on Twitter.  Follow the Alliance’s Center for Engagement and Neighborhood Building and keep up with conference news using the hashtag #NRC14.  You can also follow panelist Staci Berger for updates on her continued work toward a better New Jersey.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Neighborhood Movement


Main menu 2

by Dr. Radut