Building Community Wealth: The Role of Arts and Culture in Equitable Economic Development

Building Community Wealth: The Role of Arts and Culture in Equitable Economic Development

While arts and culture have an important role to play in building a more equitable and democratic economy, the community development field is fragmented and lacks the local, regional, and federal infrastructure and intermediaries needed to support community wealth-building entities, a report from ArtPlace America finds. Based on a field scan and case studies, the report, Building Community Wealth: The Role of Arts and Culture in Equitable Economic Development (37 pages, PDF), summarizes trends in community economic development and outlines key principles of community wealth building, including democratic decision-making, collective ownership, reparations and justice, prioritizing workers' well-being, non-extractive investing, and sustaining valuable resources. The report details how arts and culture can help advance those principles by facilitating collaboration and group decision-making; imagining ways to bring new economic structures into being; building power to strengthen movements that shift local economic conditions; healing individuals and communities from extractive labor and economic practices; making the case for holistic people-centered financing; and creating and sustaining forms of resource generation.

(Photo credit: Amanda Paige/Higher Purpose Co.)