Jennifer Drinkwater Came to Town

Her goal was to develop new community partnerships around a cultural community vision incorporating art and natural resources for economic development over a multi-year plan.

Simpler put: bring artists, naturalists and businesses together to showcase the Webster City area and improve our economy into the future.

Creative Placemaking is an evolving field of practice that intentionally leverages the power of the arts, culture and creativity to serve a community’s interest while driving a broader agenda for change, growth and transformation in a way that also builds character and quality of place. 

Simpler put: bringing artists, naturalists and businesses together to showcase the Webster City area and improve our economy into the future.

Examples of creative placemaking around the country include:

Artist Relocation Project in Oil City, Pennsylvania
They started a nationwide project to have artists move to their city and open studios in their downtown district.  It’s been very successful and continues ten years later.

Paddling Theatre, Minnesota
You sit along the river bank and enjoy the theatre as they row to you.  From Granite Falls to the Upper Sioux Agency State Park, PlaceBase Productions created a moving theatre experience.
Shack Up Inn, Clarksdale, MS
In the Mississippi Delta there’s an old Blues spot called the Shack Up Inn where folks travel from all around to learn things like how to play the harmonica, the guitar or make a documentary.  And there’s good music.  They started with an old shack – and promoted the heck out of it.
ImaginArt in the Alleys, Marion, Iowa
Marion was one of 55 communities in the nation to win a $350,000 ArtPlace grant.  They will bring life, vitality and art to Uptown Marion alleyways.
The attendees broke into groups and came up with their own ideas for things we could do here in Webster City, and there were great ideas!  Our group had ideas that involved studio space for artists, business incubator spaces and economic development.  We also got some information on Internships through CyHires at ISU.

Jennifer Drinkwater is the Extension Community Art Specialists and Assistant Professor at the Department of Art and Visual Culture at The College of Design at Iowa State University.


There were attendees from many organizations from the Webster City Area, and Jennifer came for three sessions.  At this point in time, some of the groups are working on projects together.  I think the first result was that people saw possibilities of what could happen.  It helps to have other examples to look at, and to see other places who have done the kind of things you want to do.

Now the questions become:

  • How do we move forward with our ideas, how do we turn them from ideas into reality?
  • How do we continue to keep people interested, and get more people on board?

This article was originally written for my weekly post on Wednesday for Building Possibility.  You can receive the newsletter too! Just sign up in the box to the right – Start Building Possibility.   During the month of May I’ve committed to blogging each day.  Oh boy!  Why not join me?