on culture, heritage, inclusion and communication
an Engaged, Empowered & Motivated Community
a place where good will and economic prosperity
will be sustained by the next generation.
PARTNERS FOR LIVABLE COMMUNITIES
AMERICANS FOR THE ARTS
According to a recent report by the Knight Foundation, “Community attachment is an emotional connection to a place that transcends satisfaction, loyalty, and even passion. A community’s most attached residents have strong pride in it, a positive outlook on the community’s future, and a sense that it is the perfect place for them.
The Knight Foundation report demonstrates that in communities where local “attachment” is higher, local GDP growth levels are likewise higher.
The importance of cultural heritage sites and events is a powerful means for building community pride.
Some tourist destinations, such as water parks, have a generic quality to them that does not say anything special about the community where they are. But cultural heritage attractions are by their very nature specific to a community’s past or present characteristics. Decisions about how to develop and manage cultural heritage attractions are decisions that help define the community and present it to the outside world.
Participation in these decisions helps to build community and bolster pride among residents.
COMMUNITY-BUILDING and TRANSFORMATION
The community building approach strikes a balance among the interests of tourists, preservationists and community members. This approach recognizes that cultural heritage tourism projects need to be developed in ways that will appeal to tourists. And it understands that the basis for doing so lies in the authentic presentation of the community’s unique cultural heritage. But the bottom line in this approach is an imperative to involve community members in making basic decisions about what should be done.
… cultural heritage tourism projects touch more directly on issues of identity and community pride, and these initiatives are likely to include significant public outreach. … “ordinary” community members must be among the decision makers.
Compared to other ways of designing and implementing cultural heritage tourism initiatives, this approach has the following potential advantages.
• Generates a more comprehensive list of existing cultural heritage assets
• Ensures more widespread community involvement and support
• Enhances sense of trust, respect and dignity
• Increases residents’ self-confidence and community pride
• Results in better decisions and more equitable sharing of project benefits
• Has greater appeal to potential outside funders
• Creates more sustainable outcomes
• Delivers economic benefits