Finding Joy in Urban Winters

(Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters)
A contingent of hardy souls wants to change the way North America’s coldest cities experience winter, and they’re looking to a part of the world renowned for both happiness and monster winters: Scandinavia. In fact, the Danish concept of hygge may hold the key to cities’ winter well being. “Coziness” is perhaps the word’s best translation, although togetherness, enjoyment, relaxation, and comfort capture angles of it too. Read more... Read more

In Downtowns, Optimism Rings

Market Street in Selinsgrove, PA (Credit:
An in-depth look at the main streets of four Pennsylvania communities — Sunbury, Lewisburg, Selinsgrove and Danville — reveals that, while each community has its unique characteristics, they share similarities. All have parks — and festivals — but also the same type of worries that the individual characteristics and economies of Main Streets are in jeopardy. No matter the circumstances, each community shares one common characteristic: optimism. Read more... Read more

NEA Challenge America Grant Program

The National Endowment for the Arts’ Challenge America grant offers support primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations — those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. Grants are available for professional arts programming and for projects that emphasize the potential of the arts in community development. Applications due April 13, 2017. Learn more and apply... Read more

Art Works: Creativity Connects

(Credit: NEA)
This National Endowment for the Arts initiative shows how the arts contribute to the nation’s creative ecosystem, investigates how support systems for the arts are changing, explores how the arts can connect with other sectors that want and utilize creativity, and invests in innovative projects to spark new, collaborative ideas. A key component of Creativity Connects is a grant opportunity in the Art Works category that supports collaborative, mutually beneficial partnerships between the arts and non-arts sectors, specifically: Agriculture, Business... Read more

New Design Guide Helps Planners Hack Tactical Urbanism

A Build a Better Block installation in Kansas City inspired by activists in Oak Cliff, Dallas (Credit: Build a Better Block)
Literature on and toolkits for tactical urbanism have proliferated over the past decade, but the Street Plans Collaborative — authors of the popular book Tactical Urbanism: Short-term Action for Long-term Change — felt there was still a need for nittier, grittier guidance. The group’s new 132-page online publication, “The Tactical Urbanist’s Guide to Materials and Design,” dives into the details of pop-up urbanism: when to use tape or paint or chalk, how to choose the right materials for temporary barriers,... Read more
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