Last week, Springboard for the Arts launched their new Creative Exchange initiative as a way to help cities leverage arts programs to further civic and economic development. The program offers 10 toolkits with step-by-step guides culled from successfully executed projects. Sample budgets, template documents, fundraising ideas, and more are included in the how-to kits.

To further support your city's implementation, Creative Exchange also offer expert advice to artists and communities using the toolkits. Here are five of the 10 toolkits on offer:

1. Community Supported Art

Inspired by the time-tested Community Supported Agriculture model, these CSAs sell shares in art rather than food. Just like with the agriculture, though, the artwork has not yet been created, so it's a true investment in your community.

2. Neighborhood Postcard Project 

Taking direction from a program undertaken in San Francisco last year and created with help from the League of Creative Interventionists founder Hunter Franks, the Neighborhood Postcard Project gathers "personal positive neighborhood stories from residents in marginalized communities and sends them out to random people in the same city to break down stereotypes and foster community connection." 

3. Artists Health Fairs 

Because artists and independent contract workers often lack access to affordable health insurance and care, the Artists' Health Fairs connects those citizens with healthcare resources right there in their communities.

4. Irrigate

The Irrigate toolkit draws from a three-year creative placemaking program in Saint Paul, Minnesota, that turned a major light rail construction project into an opportunity for art. Irrigate inspires artists to look at natural disasters and construction disruptions through the creative lens in order to help neighborhoods thrive, even under stress or distress.

5. Pop-Up Museums

Following the model of Pop Up Museums done by the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History in California, this toolkit helps artists select a theme, find a venue, and stage an event in their own communities.

Kelly McCartney


Kelly McCartney |

Having won prestigious literary competitions in both grade school and junior high, I attended college with a Scripps Howard Foundation scholarship, earned a BA in Journalism, and interned at Entertainment

Things I share: I seek. I write. I think. I roam. I listen. I care. I wonder. I help. I flirt. I try. I dream. I grow.