Involve partners early
Doing so requires regular communication so that opportunities become available and partners know when and how to plug in. Including partners early and in tandem with project development, whether it is through convening an advisory board, facilitating a local area planning process, or creating an opportunity for public art or programming, improves the chances that they can understand and champion your efforts. While it is extra work and requires relinquishing of some control to bring additional actors to the table, paradoxically, doing so can strengthen your own case.
Schedule for success
In the NEA’s profile of El Paso, Texas, for example, project planning for the Union Plaza/Downtown Green Space Connection project coincided with Plan El Paso, a community-driven comprehensive planning process for the city that supported better transit options and pedestrian-friendly development. The project was able to support these goals, which enabled it to have the political support needed to succeed. Read the full NEA profile.
Youth voices help outreach efforts hit home
When regional leaders planned a new bus rapid transit (BRT) system in Oakland, CA, local nonprofit TransForm helped deepen outreach to ensure that the community would have a voice in the final design. In one example, TransForm worked with local group Youth Uprising to put together an original hip-hop song and music video, “Oakland for BRT” to get young people involved. As a result, students from Youth Uprising supported the new bus line and helped inform the public art components of the project.
Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKUHj9hapaU