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A plan for creative placemaking

Northeast Lincoln is getting an artistic and civic boost in 2023. The Lincoln Arts Council has awarded Civic Nebraska and the LUX Center for the Arts an upstArt grant to create community-led art installations in the University Place neighborhood. 
Collaborative Communities will strengthen the social fabric of the neighborhood through creative placemaking and accessible artwork. Residents will be matched with local artists to create eight art installations, which will be displayed in yards, small businesses, or public spaces with permission. 
The project, which was inspired by ART-IN-PLACE in Chicago, will help strengthen community identity, add cultural value, and bring awareness to various issues. The installations will be an investment not only in the physical beautification of the neighborhood but also in personal identity, sense of community, and belonging to neighborhood residents. 
“Inviting the community to participate in the decision-making of a public art project is an incredibly powerful opportunity,” said Nancy Petitto, director of civic health programs at Civic Nebraska, which partners with Nebraska Appleseed on the neighborhood-building Collective Impact Lincoln initiative. “By discussing installations with artists, residents have a seat at the table to bring positive change to their community.”
Community organizers will meet with residents to discuss themes, locations, and community needs while LUX will identify eight artists to create the public art installation. The two groups will be individually matched to complete the installations at approved locations. 
The artwork will have informational signs and QR codes that provide context and emphasize the collaborative visions of each installation. Many of the projects will be placed along the walking route of Streets Alive!, which takes place each autumn in the University Place neighborhood.
We can’t wait to get started – and we’ll be sure to share updates as Collaborative Communities takes shape this year. Let’s go!