Strategic Planning and Community Engagement Model

Strategic Planning and Community Engagement Model

The School of the Art Institute (SAIC) approached Bespoke to develop a strategic plan to guide a creative community engagement initiative for their new satellite campus at Homan Square. The main ambition for this project was to create an artist-based and neighborhood-led initiative that can support cultural revitalization in an under-invested neighbourhood in the West side community of North Lawndale.

-Interior of Homan Square, prior to renovations, courtesy of the Homan Square Foundation.

Community Engagement

Community Engagement

Bespoke worked closely with SAIC’s Office of Community Engagement and facilitated a half-day visioning session with artists, faculty and staff, to discuss what community engagement means within the complex context of Chicago. From this visioning session we identified relevant best practice precedents that harness the incredible assets of SAIC, as well as engage local artists and neighborhood stakeholders. We also worked with the client to think through how the arts can be a catalyst for addressing real concerns.

- image of SAIC Day of Service, 2016.

Final Report

Final Report

The results of our work are proving instrumental to the partnership between Homan Square and SAIC. SAIC is currently studying the feasibility of the proposed initiatives and Bespoke’s research has been integrated into the curriculum as a teaching aid for cultural planning and community engagement. Our final planning report proposed guiding principles, a governance model and rollout plan to establish meaningful collaborations amongst communities, citizen artists and institutions.