Using the Arts As a Tool for Community Development: Identifying Opportunity Neighborhoods for Artist-Led Revitalization

Monday, 16 July 2018: 19:45
Oral Presentation
Yasemin ARIKAN, Urban Innovation Analysis, Inc., USA
Can artists drive growth? What neighborhoods in the U.S. are ripe for artist-led revitalization? Using regression analysis, we explore the impact of arts growth on neighborhoods in the national context and quantiles of neighborhood disadvantage, using different definitions of disadvantage and arts growth. We also take into account the cultural life within the neighborhood in terms of amenities, and compare the impact of arts growth on individual versus clusters of neighborhoods. Results suggest that there is strategic value in considering all of the following dimensions in using the arts to drive change in neighborhoods: (a) The more arts establishments are developed, the greater the impact tends to be, across various definitions of disadvantage. (b) The arts do not have a uniform relationship to neighborhood characteristics. To achieve a desired level of impact, consider the type and range of arts establishments to develop and prioritize. (c) The moderate to higher levels of disadvantage experienced in a neighborhood dampen the impact of the arts. Efforts in these contexts may need to develop a greater number of arts establishments and/or favor another type or wider range of arts to effect a desired amount of change. (d) Sometimes the speed of arts growth matters to the outcome. In certain neighborhood contexts, achieving the desired impact level may require going intentionally slow or fast about the arts growth. Which neighborhoods these tend to be, however, depends on how one defines a disadvantaged neighborhood. (e) Sometimes locating the arts growth in an adjacent neighborhood rather than directly inside the target neighborhood may better support the intended impact. (f) The impact of the number of arts establishments is subject to the particular set of pre- and co-existing neighborhood amenities, which may amplify or weaken the intended impact.