Arts and Community Development New Orleans Style

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Resource Details
Publication Date: 
May 2013
Erik Takeshita
Number of Pages: 
Animating Democracy resource
PDF icon TakeshitaPaper_Final.pdf1.42 MB

In his essay, Erik Takeshita, Program Officer for the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) in the Twin Cities, explores the experience of MicroFest: New Orleans and observes that art requires four characteristics to have a positive, sustainable impact on community: Residents and communities are the agents of change, not the targets of change….Art is at the center….Place matters….Art works across sectors and is collaborative. Based on a panel held in the St. Claude neighborhood, he examines common issues in community development: the role of race in community development, the unintended consequences of reinvestment in neighborhoods, and the edge between differing narratives of a community. Takeshita also explores the complicated dynamics around the influx of newcomers, returnees, and transplants, including artists, to the city since Hurricane Katrina. Through brief and engaging stories from MicroFest, Takeshita discusses some of the arts experiences that showed the power of art and cultural tradition to impact community: the Music Box, Queen Cherice of the Guardians of the Flame, and particularly Ashé Cultural Arts Center, whose “mission embodies the best in arts-based community development.”

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