Reflecting the Levitt Foundation’s commitment to research and ongoing self-reflection, as well as contributing to the field of creative placemaking, we commission third-party, multi-year research to evaluate the social impact of Levitt programs in communities across the country while informing our philanthropic processes and practices.

 

Listening to the Music of Community Change: Findings from a Pre/Post Research Study at Levitt Pavilion Denver (2021)

What is, and what should be, the role of creative placemaking in communities undergoing change? Conducted by Slover Linett Audience Research, this new study examines to what degree a creative placemaking project can be positioned and programmed to become a community asset and inspire community attachment over time, using Levitt Pavilion Denver as a case study. The report's release follows a pandemic-fueled wave of interest in public spaces and offers timely insights for civic leaders, practitioners and funders seeking to build more equitable and thriving public spaces. Reflecting on fieldwork conducted during the “pre” phase of the research in 2013 (before design and construction of Levitt Pavilion Denver began) and the “post” phase in 2019 (during the pavilion’s third concert season), the white paper explores shifting perceptions of Denver’s Ruby Hill neighborhood and surrounding areas, Ruby Hill Park, and the pavilion through the lens of lived experiences of local residents, park users and concertgoers; the role of collective memory in shaping attitudes toward the arts investment; and how equitable practices and processes can further a sense of belonging while fostering long-term investment in the community. Read more on our blog.

 

Setting the Stage for Community Change: Reflecting on Creative Placemaking Outcomes (2016)

How can creative placemaking projects bring about change in communities and by which mechanisms do they affect individuals and the broader community? Conducted by Slover Linett Audience Research, this white paper examines how creative placemaking interventions create a sense of place in communities and build social capital by facilitating social bonding (interactions within existing social groups) and social bridging (interactions among different groups and across demographics), using permanent outdoor Levitt music venues as case studies. Additional community-level outcomes explored throughout the report include awareness and accessibility of the arts, community engagement, neighborhood vibrancy, and perceived safety and livability. This research offers insights into arts-based strategies in community development and to promote social connectivity, a central goal of many creative placemaking efforts, and is a working illustration of what can and can't be learned from different impact measurement approaches. Read more on our blog.