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