While localities across the country have acknowledged the value of the arts to economic development and to attracting what Richard Florida calls the "creative class", Rebecca Sanborn Stone profiles several communities that have gone one step further and utilized citizen-driven art projects to guide planning efforts.
Sanborn Stone features case studies of the creative communities of Starksboro, Vermont, Yellow Springs, Ohio, and Mendocino County, California.
In Starksboro, the town's Art & Soul project's use of community storytelling has, "unleashed more action than years of traditional planning."
In Yellow Springs, the Why Here and Why Now project, "combines photography, audio interviews, and music, exploring why people choose to live in the community and why it matters," in order to break down barriers and find a common way forward.
Lastly, Sanborn Stone discusses Mendocino County's Placement Project which used, "residents' stories to launch a conversation about the importance of maintaining rural character and the environment while accommodating new jobs, housing and industry."