Municipal/Artist (M/A) partnerships are collaborations between local governments and artists, that use creative processes to engage residents and improve communities.
These partnerships are happening across the United States, and are becoming an important way for both local governments and artists to think outside the box and have a direct impact on communities.
A partnership is a sharing of values, as well as risks, responsibilities, resources, and rewards. An M/A partnership can be mutually beneficial: municipalities can provide artists with contexts, resources, and staffing to amplify their work; artists’ creative approaches bring new perspectives and strategies to community engagement. M/A partnerships merge municipalities’ and artists’ distinct ways of working, allowing them to address issues in new ways; and aspire to greater goals in service of the public than they can reach separately.
This guide is for both municipalities and artists, to help them successfully collaborate. This guide synthesizes best practices, features the voices of partners, and offers case studies, tools, and resources from a number of remarkable partnerships across the US.
It’s a local government — a city, town, village, or county; or a governmental agency such as a Parks Department or an Economic Development Office.
A creative worker who specializes in one or more disciplines including visual art, performance art, theater, music, dance, design, spoken and written word, and social practice. For more on this last one, see resources.
How to use this guide:
Throughout this guide, look for red links to Profiles & Snapshots, orange links to Tools & Resources, and green links to related sections, so that you can see how other partnerships put these ideas into action!
Everything you need to know about beginning a partnership: what to think about when planning a project; how to choose an artist; what to put in a budget; how to evaluate impact; and much, much more!
21 case studies of M/A projects in cities across the US, and with diverse types of artists and levels of government.
Helpful sample documents, tools, readings and more to help you plan your partnership.