May 7, 2015
Congratulations to Shreveport Common on being selected as a semi-finalist in the Community Development Category for the NDC Academy Awards 2015. The NDC Academy Awards Semi-Finalists represent some of the most innovative and impactful developments changing the lives for residents in underserved communities across the country, NDC is honored to highlight the achievements of these organizations at the NDC Academy 2015.
Shreveport Common and Choice Neighborhoods – Shreveport, LA
Shreveport Common is quickly becoming Shreveport, Louisiana’s UNcommon Cultural District: a $100M Arts-driven transformation of a blighted, urban area to a vibrant, creative, sustainable neighborhood. Developed using Creative Placemaking techniques, the process has garnered national attention (MIT Places in the Making) and exemplifies BEST- and NEWEST- practices at the intersection of Community Development and Creative Placemaking. The Shreveport Common Development – 3 years in the making, 40% complete – is an Arts-led, holistic Community Development initiative based upon an 18-month grassroots Vision Planning and Community Process, comprised of 36 major projects spanning housing, transportation, green spaces, public art, arts programming, and workforce development, within Shreveport’s HUD Choice Neighborhood. The 9-block site was chosen for its geographic connection between the blighted Eastern edge of Ledbetter Heights, and the Western edge of the thriving downtown business district. In 2009, at the project’s inception, the space between the disparate segments of Shreveport was a desolate expanse of broken concrete, punctuated with deteriorating historic buildings. The City of Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Shreveport Regional Arts Council (SRAC) and 30 major public and private partners are working together to create community, economic and cultural development, transforming the area and quality of life through the principles of Creative Placemaking; putting the Arts and artists “at the helm” of creating a vibrant cultural hub that is committed to connecting the community, offering surprising public art and cultural programming in formerly un-used spaces, creating workforce development and earned income opportunities while animating and aesthetically enhancing the formerly blighted area. From the beginning of the Vision Plan process, Shreveport Common, SRAC and the City of Shreveport have been dedicated to keeping all neighbors, particularly the underserved, integral to creating an enhanced cultural community.
Now in Implementation Phase, residents, artists and businesses are moving into and thriving in this creative neighborhood.