Maximize Cultural Assets to Promote Economic Development: Final Report Now Available

Florida League of Cities President Joy Cooper’s presidential platform – Culture Builds Florida Communities – provided Florida cities with tools and knowledge to maximize their cultural assets during these tough economic times. The Culture Builds Florida Communities Final Report is now available. Click here to view the document.
In partnership with Washington, D.C.-based Partners for Livable Communities, the Florida League of Cities offered five workshops throughout the state.

The workshops have been held in Fort Walton Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and Daytona Beach. The workshops were a great success!

Click here for the photo gallery from the workshops.

Testimonials from attendees:

"This was the first time I’ve seen the integration of Arts & Culture, Economic Development, and Livability in one workshop; and I think it is worthwhile and very important to close that “loop.”  The physical improvements can help stimulate private reinvestment, but it is the “culture” of the area that generates the excitement and makes people want to frequent a place.  I think the Economic Development component will get the attention of some people who might otherwise not want to engage on the other subjects." -  Hank Woollard, AICP, Planner, City of Destin

"An exciting wow factor of ideas, avenues, and guidance paving the cultural road for everyone to partake!" - Tammy King, City Clerk, City of Mary Esther
"This workshop brought home so many valid points.  Without sufficient art and cultural opportunities our communities are not living up to their potential. Even in these distressed economic times there are funders and partners to make our dreams possible. I left this workshop clutching a binder full of great information and ideas how to make my city a more livable community!" - Jurate Burns, Destin Library Director

More workshop testimonials here.

 Click here for the workshop registration form.

The workshops will bring together city officials and staff, business leaders, representatives from the arts and cultural sectors, and leaders of local and regional foundations to discuss and strategize how the arts and culture resources can be used to promote local economic development, revitalize cities and neighborhoods, create jobs and assist at-risk citizens. 
The workshops will assist participants in understanding how arts and cultural resources can be applied to helping people and communities with the most needs; learning how to advocate for the use of arts and culture resources for community/economic development goals; exploring funding sources and strategies; assessing the leadership and institutional capacities necessary for sustaining arts and culture community development, and plan a process for developing these capacities; and applying principles and strategies for building a local or regional collaboration for arts and cultural community and/or economic development.
We encourage you to begin thinking about those from your city staff, business community, arts and cultural sectors, and local and regional foundation leaders who can come together to attend these workshops and gain valuable insight and knowledge for the future of arts and culture in your city.

For information regarding Culture Builds Florida Communities initiative, contact Linda Bridges at (850) 222-9684.
Culture Connects All - A MetLife Foundation Report (Partners' latest report on the rising tide of older adult and immigrant populations, and how arts and cultural organizations in six cities around the country are innovating and adapting to abet in the changes)
Best Practices:
As we conduct the Culture Builds Florida Communities workshops around the state, we are collecting examples of best practices from workshop participants illustrating examples of how culture builds communities!  We hope you, your communities and your project/programs are further energized by this information.  Each example includes contact information for further information.
Johnnie Aycock was a guest speaker for the Culture Builds Florida Communities workshop held March 4th in Fort Walton Beach and again, April 8th in Fort Lauderdale. Culture Builds Tuscaloosa County, a strategic plan, is a prime example of culture revitalizing a community.
Jeanine Taylor was a guest speaker for the Culture Builds Florida Communities workshop held April 29th in Daytona Beach.  Celery Soup is a prime example of culture bringing a community together!
Catherine Crenshaw, President, Sloss Real Estate, was a guest speaker for the Fort Myers workshop.
Additional Resources:
Placemaking and Design Reader Reduced
Social and Community Reader Reduced
Strengthening the Economy through Arts and Culture Reader Reduced
With funding from the Eugene & Agnes Meyer Foundation and the Fannie Mae Foundation, this report looks at school-to-work initiatives around the United States, including best practices.
A workbook prepared for use by the Federal City Council and the DC Arts Downtown Committee in 1997-98 to facilitate a set of working groups to design a strategy for culture and arts in downtown Washington D.C. This report looks at examples from around the country of how culture has been put to work in programming and facility development.
A publication that explores how cultural assets can be supported for a quality of life agenda, and how they impact communities on a multitude of levels. In addition to their economic and workforce development impact, these resources can also be used to improve education, strengthen ethnic identities and race relations, and enhance community pride.
A publication based on the year-long strategic consulting Partners undertook for the State of Florida of repositioning culture as a community building resource with a special relationship to wellness, an older population, an economic diversification and school learning in Florida.
A workbook produced for a January 2004 workshop with the South Carolina Association of Community Development Corporations. Wachovia Bank and Partners introduced how to use arts, culture, heritage, environment and humanities as resources for capacity building for small community development corporations in that state.
Through the support of the Rochester Area Community Foundation and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Partners has compiled a small publication of “orphaned buildings” left behind after the age of segregation that were once vital assets in the African American community and have since been recycled, reused and put back into community service to preserve the heritage and history of these buildings in their historic community.
This document reflects a year-long process of working with the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama to create significant partnerships that would use culture to address some of the outstanding equity, economic development and regional cooperation issues in Western Alabama.
This resource is part guide, part workbook and highlights the impact of community-based arts and cultural resources on local quality of life. The guide contains over a dozen case studies and examines six approaches to this type of work. The workbook contains a step-by-step strategy for taking action in your community.
A 2008 portfolio by Partners for Livable Communities which represents the 6-year Asset-based Community Development agenda with Ford program officer Miguel Garcia. The program explores arts and artistic expression as a tool for neighborhood identity, social interaction, upward economic mobility, community development and civic engagement.
This publication contains 22 case studies on local chambers of commerce engaged in green business practices and programs for their members. These forward-thinking business communities demonstrate that environmental sustainability and profitability are not mutually exclusive, but are a common sense pair in 2011.