Artists’ Identity: Place & Purpose

Artists tend to stretch and challenge their perceptions: we invite you to read some resources our team has located that provides interest into the artist's role in activating themselves and their community. For a full list of Arts Education resources, scroll down.


The Studio of Shahin Shikhaliyev, during Open Studio Tour 2015 - credit Phil Hutinet


  • Years in the Making: the Gateway Arts District from the Art Lives Here Blog Local activists, municipalities, and county officials have long searched for a sustainable business culture along the Route 1 Corridor During the early 1970s many long-serving mom and pop shops closed inside the Beltway: a drop in customers due to the competitive pressures of newer, exurban sprawl developments...
  • The Faces of Development - Mount Rainier from Art Lives Here - Mount Rainier likes to think of itself as a special place. An outsider could be forgiven for taking our superficial anonymity at face value, but those of us who live here feel like we’ve lucked into a hidden treasure. There are some real geographic barriers that help preserve the city’s identity as a community and help legitimize our civic pride. Eastern Avenue to the west is the Maryland state line and Washington, D.C.’s northeastern border. The southern end of town is the CSX rail line, passable only using Eastern Avenue. On the north we bump against Queens Chapel Rd., also known as Maryland State Highway 500. Only on the east do we blend easily into our neighbors Brentwood and Cottage City.
  • What is Placemaking? by Project for Public Spaces - Placemaking is a multi-faceted approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces. Put simply, it involves looking at, listening to, and asking questions of the people who live, work and play in a particular space, to discover their needs and aspirations. This information is then used to create a common vision for that place. The vision can evolve quickly into an implementation strategy, beginning with small-scale, do-able improvements that can immediately bring benefits to public spaces and the people who use them.
  • Artist Space development: Making the Case and Assessing Impacts by Maria Rosario Jackson and Florence Kabwasa-Green, of the Urban Institute - This report explains how advocacy for artist space development is carried out in different realms, the impacts of artist space development, and how to make it a priority within the context of community development and public policy. Based on case studies of 23 projects around the country, this report focuses on how artist space developments are positioned to garner support, the advocacy strategies pursued, and the impacts they claim or anticipate.
  • Sustainable Maryland by the Revitalzation Incentive Workgroup - A Report to the Task Force on the Future for Growth and Development in Maryland.
  • Eleven Principles for Creating Great Community Places by Project for Public Spaces - Effective public spaces are extremely difficult to accomplish, because their complexity is rarely understood. As William (Holly) Whyte said, "It's hard to design a space that will not attract people. What is remarkable is how often this has been accomplished."

Open Studio Tour 2013 - Art Lives Here (Flickr)

Purpose: Arts Education

Below you'll find regional and federal resources examining the benefits of arts learning. Please browse a copy of the 2021 Gateway Arts District Arts Learning Guide to find local facilities and educators.


 For an even more extensive listing of Teaching Artists, visit our Artists Directory and select 'Arts Educators'.

 For relevant Businesses and Arts Organizations, click here for business listings.


Online Reading:
  • The Case for Arts Education in the Gateway Arts District from Art Lives Here - For several years, a struggling economy has translated into a reduction in arts education across our nation and particularly in economically challenged regions. Prince George’s County is one such region. The result: Most children in Prince George’s Public Schools are experiencing visual arts education taught by certified art educators a maximum of four times per school year, with an average class time of forty-five minutes.
  • Why the Arts Matter by Americans for the Arts Action Fund - Funding for arts education programs in schools is being cut back or eliminated. Many arts organizations have had to make drastic reductions in hours, and offer fewer productions each season. The work of the Arts Action Fund helps reverse these trends. The Arts Action Fund is the only national organization that mobilizes Americans in the fight for arts funding and arts education. AAF is building a nationwide army of citizen activists who will help guarantee that arts-friendly public policies are adopted at the federal, state, and local levels.
  • Arts Education in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools by the National Center for Education Statistics Institute of Education Sciences, 1999-2000 and 2009-2010
  • Creativity, Innovation and Arts Learning: Preparing All Students for Success in a Global Economy by Sandra Ruppert of The Arts Education Partnership - Creativity and innovation are on everyone's minds these days. Read the latest from AEP Director Sandra Ruppert on some key questions and concrete solutions for how creativity can be resourced and channeled for student and economic success. 


More Arts Education Resources:


Ongoing Practice:


That's all we list for now. Head back up top.