Arts, Culture, and Creative Placemaking for Parks and Public Space


This panel will explore the power of arts and culture to engage community and build civic connections in collaboration with parks and civic spaces. In one city, as part of a renovation project, park leaders worked with a film production company and a social enterprise focused on waste management to create 12 documentary videos, highlighting stories of the past and hope for the future, community benefits, and inspiration for the park, and bringing youth perspectives on the project. A major park in another city is helping to build bridges throughout the city through programming co-created with artists and organizations.

Participants will learn practical implementation ideas for partnerships between artists, arts organizations, and government agencies to operate public space.


  • Learn about the importance of social infrastructure and understand why arts organizations combined with parks leverage public assets and private non-profit expertise enhance this critical aspect of our communities
  • Learn how to engage youth and elders through the use of storytelling as a core element of park visioning
  • Understand the partnership structure between municipal park agencies, local community-based organizations, and supporting non-profits to manage public space
  • Identify strategies for mitigating the impacts of a changing climate using public open spaces


Ellen Hwang

Director/Philadelphia, Knight Foundation

Julia Diamond

Director, Grand Park, The Music Center

Lauren D Chavez

Project Manager, San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department