PlaceMakers: UC Place-Based Art + Design—Placemaking makes use of the inherent creativity of people and institutions to revitalize communities through art and design. This collaboration will identify place-based research that is reinventing spaces of higher education, foster collaborations and expand such initiatives across the UC system. The project is led by Kim Yasuda at UC Santa Barbara, with UC Davis’ Glenda Drew and Brett Snyder, professor and associate professor of design, respectively; and colleagues at UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz. ($270,000).

Kim Yasuda, an artist and professor of public practice in the Department of Art, will lead a team that brings together art, design and media practitioners and projects that engage in place-making as an emerging form of scholarship that highlights the potential “to demonstrate direct impact of UC research within the diverse environs of California.” According to Yasuda, over the past decade, creative place-making has evolved as a community-based approach to land use that brings together arts and cultural development with fields of civic and environmental planning and design.

How do the arts contribute to our sense of place? How does our sense of place evolve as neighbors, as city inhabitants, and as citizens in a fast-changing world? Versions of these questions have been on the minds of many of us who care both about the arts and about the future of our public sphere. Indeed, throughout my career as a scholar, teacher, and convener, I have found myself asking and answering versions of this question in myriad ways.