APA Course #1: Spaces, Places, and Public Art
Welcome to Spaces, Places, and Public Art – Tools for Placemaking!
This is the first of a series of courses to provide planners and others with useful knowledge and tools to shape healthier, more vibrant, and better-designed communities. Developed by the St. Paul-based nonprofit, Forecast Public Art, this online course is recognized by APA and AICP for Certification Maintenance credits (CMs). This course requires 90 minutes to complete. However, OPTIONAL supplemental information and many web links are provided which add time (but not additional CM credit) if the user chooses to review them.
This course expands planners’ knowledge of public art and placemaking, focusing on keys to successful assessment, planning, and implementation for public art projects as well as overall planning for and integration of organizational infrastructure within local government needed to support public art.
By participating in these courses you become part of a growing international community of planners, designers, engineers, public policy-makers, artists, and others who bring creative solutions and new partnerships to complex community challenges.
After completing this course you will:
- 1. Know current ways of defining public art and see examples of how the practice has evolved in recent decades.
- 2. Learn how public art has been successfully employed to achieve a variety of community planning and development goals in communities of different sizes.
- 3. Become aware of how artists work and some of their roles in planning and collaborating on projects that address community challenges.
- 4. Understand why and how public art has become an integral part of municipal systems.
- 5. Identify ways in which public art adds value to public spaces as well as public investments and private development.
- 6. Understand important challenges in the process of planning for public art, and gain tools to help better lead this process in your community.
This course will use a variety of case studies that address and illustrate such things as:
• Large and small-scale public art projects
• Permanent and temporary art projects
• A range of types and styles of public art
• Ways the public participate and interact with the process of artmaking and art work
• Importance of site choices and relevance of the art to site
• Value of careful planning for public art
• Integral roles artists take in community planning and change
• Good public process/site selection process
• Thoughtful artist selection process
• Range and benefits of community engagement
• Public art funding and management
Cases embody good practices as well as challenges that illustrate key elements of public art in the context of planning including the natural environment, community and economic development, housing, transportation, utilities, parks and recreation, public services, etc.
What’s Coming up in this Course?
A rich overview of public art in the context of planning for and implementing changes in the physical, social, economic, and policy arenas in which public art is both subject and catalyst.
Ten lessons that include short videos, images, text, and links to OPTIONAL resources that supplement the core course content.
Four multiple-choice quizzes and a final exam. A 75% or greater rate of correct answers allows you to successfully complete the course. Quizzes and the exam can be taken up to three times.
Ready to Begin?
When you’re ready to begin, click on the CURRICULUM TAB. Each Lesson should require between 7 and 12 minutes, although most have optional information you can take advantage of in the form of videos, web links, and PDF documents.
These courses emerged from a two-year project to explore ways public art and placemaking contribute to community health and wellness goals. Five small cities in southern Minnesota participated in piloting the project. Funding was provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation.
Click on the “Take this course” button to begin!
- Lectures 19
- Quizzes 5
- Duration 2 hours
- Skill level All levels
- Language English
- Students 63
- Certificate Yes
- Assessments Yes
Lesson 1: Introduction
This lesson includes a general description of public art and its varied and evolving forms.
Lesson 2: A Change of Art
This video provides an overview of the impacts and nuances of public art projects in the United States.
Lesson 3: Activating Urban Spaces with Public Art on Different Scales
Two case studies illustrate ways public art projects have been integrated into urban re-development on two different scales.
Lesson 4: Transforming Urban Sites
Two case studies demonstrate how public art can be highly relevant to a specific site and social conditions, and catalytic in a process of transformation.
Lesson 5: Where Does Public Art Come From? Two (of many) Directions
Some successful public art projects are initiated by artists and others by curators. Two sections in this lesson show how each brings a unique vision and/or creative techniques to community building and placemaking.
Lesson 6: The Pivotal Role and Value of Public Process
Good public process helps ensure successful public art as well as good art – art that has meaning to the community, that is innovative and appealing, and that is well- executed and placed for the lifespan appropriate to its purpose. Good process can also ensure a good fit of artist to the project, site, and/or community.
Lesson 7: The Importance of Selecting the Right Artist
A good fit between artist, the project concept, project managers, and the community is a critical ingredient of successful projects.
Lesson 8: Approaches to Planning Public Art
These case studies illustrate distinct approaches to planning for public art – separate public art master plan or integration of an arts element into the comprehensive plan.
Lesson 9: Situating Public Art Within Municipal Government
Larger cities as well as smaller communities with limited resources have different opportunities and strategies for organizing and integrating public art programs within municipal government.
Lesson 10: Public Art That Gives Residents a Voice
Interactive public art projects can take note of the mood of a community and let others know!
Log your CM credits at APA!