Artful business: Using the arts for community economic development
'Four typologies of arts-based community development approaches have been identified: business incubator programs, cooperatives, tourist venues, and comprehensive approaches. Regardless of the type, asset-based community development can serve as guide. “
Phillips, R. (2004). Artful business: Using the arts for community economic development. Community Development Journal, 39(2), 112-122.
Communities across the United States are integrating the arts into their development efforts. Emerging as a viable approach, community development based on the arts is increasingly being recognized as a catalyzing force.
This article presents a typology of arts-based community development approaches: arts business incubators, artist’s cooperatives, development of tourism venues, and comprehensive approaches. Five community vignettes illustrate the different approaches, providing evidence of the effectiveness of arts-based development. Considerations for communities include the need to be flexible and creative in implementing programs as well as the overriding need to form a strong basis of support for the arts.
Developing arts-based community development approaches is challenging yet possible, as evidenced by the community vignettes presented.
Four typologies of arts-based community development approaches have been identified: business incubator programs, cooperatives, tourist venues, and comprehensive approaches. Each approach can be applied depending on what the community is seeking to accomplish. For those communities desiring to increase business activity, the arts business incubator approach may be applicable. Other communities may wish to utilize the arts as a platform to develop a comprehensive community development approach. Cooperatives can play a role as well – typically founded by artisans for marketing purposes, cooperatives in some cases can become a community development catalyst. Other communities may seek to attract tourists and will focus on arts-based venues to do so. Regardless of the type, asset-based community development can serve as guide.
Flexibility and creativity in arts-based community development approaches seems to be key. The ability of a community to respond to the particular needs and opportunities inherent in its arts resources will influence the outcomes of a development approach. Creativity is needed in providing shared facilities and resources, as well as business development training.
Finally, any arts-based development approach must have the support of the community. By recognizing the unique and positive aspects of the arts, a community can effectively capture its benefits.
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