Cities and the Arts: A Handbook for Renewal


7″ x 10″, softcover, 288 pages,

SKU: CCA001 Category:


Cities are increasingly using the arts to improve their downtowns and enhance economic conditions.

In Cities and the Arts, editor Roger Kemp has gathered articles from a wide range of sources to demonstrate that when community investment focuses on the arts, business, commerce, and tourism will follow.

The centerpiece of the book is the section on best practices. Here, readers will find 35 case studies on how cities and towns are using the arts to stimulate downtown and neighborhood revitalization. These arts-based economic development strategies are working in politically, economically, racially, and culturally diverse communities throughout America.

Examples include: Developing a master plan for the arts, Creating an arts district, Working with museums to promote cultural tourism, Building artists’ lofts to spur downtown revitalization, Developing urban cultural parks, Using public art to shape the streetscape, and more.

The cities covered range from populations of just over 11,000 in Madison, IN, to over three million in Los Angeles. But the majority are midsized cities demonstrating successful practices for revitalizing downtowns with the arts.

Table of Contents

Part I: Cities and the Arts

  1. Cultural Resources as Economic Development Tools
  2. How the Arts Drive Downtown Revitalization
  3. Putting the Arts to Work for Main Street Renewal
  4. Using the Arts for Community Economic Development
  5. Making the Most of the Arts and Culture with a Plan


Part II: The Best Practices

  1. Atlanta, Other Cities, Promote Their Culture to Attract Tourists
  2. Baton Rouge Develops a Master Plan for the Arts
  3. Berkeley Creates an Arts District to Revive Its Downtown
  4. Boston Uses Historic Preservation for Inner-City Renewal
  5. Charleston Builds a New Public Library to Stimulate Community Revitalization
  6. Chattanooga, Other Cities, Use the Arts and Culture to Restore Aging Riverfront Areas
  7. Chicago, Other Cities, Use Museums to Promote Cultural Tourism in Their Downtowns
  8. Cincinnati, Other Cities, Use Historic Preservation to Transform Train Stations into Cultural Attractions
  9. Denver Region Citizens Adopt a Special Tax to Finance Arts and Cultural Organizations
  10. Fort Worth Approves an Entertainment District for Downtown Renewal
  11. Hartford Develops an Historic Riverfront to Stimulate Inner-City Tourism
  12. Houston’s Master Plan for Public Art Facilitates Downtown Renewal
  13. Houston Uses the Performing Arts and Sports to Reinvigorate Its Downtown
  14. Little Rock Focuses on Cultural Assets and Historic Preservation to Restore Its Aging River District
  15. Los Angeles, Other Cities, Build Branch Libraries to Stimulate Neighborhood Revitalization
  16. Louisville, Other Cities, Try Multi-Use Sports Stadiums to Spur Inner-City Renewal
  17. Lowell, Other Cities, Develop Urban Cultural Parks to Preserve Their Heritage and Lure Tourists
  18. Madison Restores Main Street to Preserve Its History and Architecture
  19. Memphis Approves a Museum and Music Academy to Preserve Its Culture, Arts, and History
  20. Minneapolis Stresses the Arts and Culture as Catalysts for Economic Development
  21. Nashville Develops a Master Plan for Entertainment to Drive the Arts and Culture
  22. Newark’s Performing Arts Center Creates a Rebirth of Downtown
  23. New Bedford Preserves Its Historical Waterfront District and Architecture to Promote Tourism
  24. New England Cities Use the Arts, Culture, and Entertainment to Spur Community Growth
  25. New York Builds New Theatres to Revive an Aging Entertainment District
  26. Orlando and Lakeland Put Public Art in Civic Places to Shape Their Landscape
  27. Peekskill, Providence, and Phoenix Build Artists’ Lofts to Spur Downtown Revitalization
  28. Philadelphia, Other Cities, Create Arts and Cultural Districts to Revive Their Downtowns
  29. Reno, Other Cities, Develop Arts Facilities to Stimulate Their Downtown Economy
  30. San Francisco Capitalizes on Culture to Renovate Its Neighborhoods
  31. Seattle’s Arts and Entertainment Facilities Draw Other Developments
  32. Silver Spring Focuses on Arts, Culture, and Historical Preservation
  33. South Boston Approves Artists’ Lofts to Improve the Neighborhood
  34. Washington, D.C., Embraces Culture and Entertainment for Its Downtown Renaissance
  35. West Palm Beach Focuses on the Performing Arts and Entertainment to Spur Downtown Development


Part III: The Future

  1. The Arts Are Here to Stay
  2. The Arts in the 21st Century
  3. Nonprofit Organizations and the Arts
  4. The Creative Class and Cities
  5. Cities and the Arts


Part IV: Resources

Cities with Arts, Cultural, or Entertainment Districts in the United States

Regional Resource Directory

National Resource Directory

National Directory of State Arts Agencies

National Directory of Regional Arts Organizations


About the Author

Roger L. Kemp, PhD, ICMA-CM, is Distinguished Adjunct Professor at the Edward S. Ageno School of Business of Golden Gate University and a career city manager for 25 years in California, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

His other books include, Main Street Renewal and Small Town Economic Development.


Read Chapter 29: New England Cities Use the Arts, Culture, and Entertainment to Spur Community Growth


Cities and the Arts is guaranteed. If you are not 100% satisfied, you may return it within 30 days for a full refund.