Mission Statement

Our Mission
We are a non-partisan, citizen-based network mobilized to promote the revitalization of our community by learning and building upon the best practices of other successful community models. We hope to inspire fellow residents, local businesses and our elected officials by partnering with them to creatively seek new solutions through Arts-Based Community Development and Creative Placemaking. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the core of who we are. We know that having varied perspectives helps generate better ideas in seeking these solutions in an increasingly diverse world.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Meeting Dec 2, 2018 agenda


"Since 2011, the NEA has awarded more than $30 million to support 389 Our Town projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico."

Tonight we are looking at The Our Town Program & Creative Pacemaking

How can a pop-up arts project help reclaim a downtown’s empty spaces and create a new identity for the area?

Creative placemaking projects strategically link communities and local governments with artists, designers, and arts organizations to improve quality of life, create a sense of place, and revitalize local economies.

Mount Rainier, Maryland, a suburb of Washington DC, is home to a creative community drawn to the city by its proximity to the capital and its relatively inexpensive cost of living. However, the downtown area has suffered from a spate of underutilized spaces and vacancies, creating the impression of a city less vibrant than it actually is. To overcome this challenge, a coalition of cultural organizations and artists imagined an initiative that would bring performances to vacant spaces and convert empty storefronts into pop-up galleries, giving artists an opportunity to exhibit their work and residents a greater incentive to explore these areas of town. “Existing small businesses were struggling and there were high barriers for new ones moving in,” said Michelle Darden Lee, Art Lives Here communications partner and Mount Rainier resident.

Art Lives Here

Better Block - Mount Rainier

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Runnemede Walkabout

Here are some photos that were taken in March 2018 of buildings in Runnemede
Click here to view the gallery

Arts committee visits Philly Mural Arts

It was an upbeat day, as we headed into the city to meet with a community-based group for Mural Arts-Philadelphia.  We were on a mission to discover how this program works, including tips on funding, organizing, and "people-powering."  The welcome was warm as we entered a room alive with activity. We joined the volunteers who were painting on parachute cloth, which had been cut in sections and coded by the color of paint.  The sections were destined to become a unified, huge mural on the side of a building. 

The Mural Arts program was started in 1984 as an anti-graffiti and restorative effort to adorn Philadelphia buildings with public art.  It has effectively transformed the negative energy associated with graffiti into a positive energy that fuels an art form which has become a unique part of Philadelphia's identity. 

We think that a mural, strategically placed, could greet people entering Runnemede, for art is a universal language and communicates visually. Consider how such a mural could involve our community, instill pride, and attract newcomers to our borough!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Artwork Design for Runnemede Borough Hall

Building Exterior
Proposed Artwork Design © J. Kenneth Leap
Cast glass hands
Kindergarten students

More Green

Here are some ideas about fitting more green into redevelopment projects. 

Friday, March 23, 2018

NJ Turnpike Underpass Improvement

Imagine if a mural was installed on the NJ Turnpike underpass that forms the primary gateway into Runnemede...

Here are some other examples of how communities have used murals to transform bridges and underpasses

Other effects can be achieved with the creative use of lighting


Fixtures that project

Digital projections