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Creative placemaking and the NEA: unpacking a multi-level governance

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The role of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in shaping the arts and cultural sector is not well understood. In this paper, I focus on the development of the governance of the creative placemaking policy to unpack the complexity of the role of the NEA. Governance is used to refer to collective action designed to achieve a general interest through different actors from both the government and civic society. I use intergovernmental relations theory to capture governance dynamics in creative placemaking. In particular, I focus on three main tools developed by the NEA to spur a multi-level governance: research, grants, and partnerships. What emerges is that the role of the NEA in the development of the creative placemaking policy is multifaceted as it includes offering and leveraging funding, shaping the conversation, providing insights, and spurring collaborations. These actions create a multi-level governance based on a dynamic exchange between national and local governments, and the involvement of a variety of actors from civil society.
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Keywords: Creative placemaking; NEA; cultural policy; intergovernmental relations; multi-level governance

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Arts and Administration Program, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, USA

Publication date: July 3, 2016

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