The Importance of Neighborhood Context in Arts-Led Development: Community Anchor or Creative Class Magnet?

James Murdoch III, Carl Grodach, Nicole Foster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


This article contributes to the creative city–community development arts policy debate by examining the association of arts organizations to various neighborhood contexts in New York City. Results from multivariate regression analyses show that arts organizations regardless of type are positioned to serve the creative class rather than play a community development role. Notably, only a small subset of locally focused organizations and organizations with smaller expenditures locate in disadvantaged and immigrant neighborhoods where they might play a direct role in community development. Instead, most arts organizations tend to locate in the most highly urbanized, amenities-rich areas with young working singles and creative industries. These findings raise important questions for incorporating the arts into neighborhood planning efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-48
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Planning Education and Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • arts
  • community development
  • creative city
  • creative class
  • creative placemaking

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