ArtsU Intensive: Placemaking vs Placekeeping: Steps to Doing More Equitable Art Interventions

Recorded On: 03/10/2022

imageAbout this Intensive

Why does the term placemaking even exist when artists have used the arts to facilitate community development for centuries? What does placekeeping mean and how does it relate to social and racial equity? During this four-hour workshop led by Allentza Michel, founder and creative director of Powerful Pathways and awardee of the 2021 Jorge and Darlene Pérez Prize in Public Art & Civic Design, we will dive into these questions by engaging in a shared popular education learning module.

During this ArtsU Intensive, together we will:

  • Break down the origins and differences between placemaking and placekeeping;
  • Discuss the definition of social equity and how it relates to social practice arts, and;
  • Provide participants with content on how placekeeping works and is necessary for inclusive and diverse processes. 

This workshop is presented as part of the Jorge and Darlene Pérez Prize in Public Art & Civic Design program, which is generously supported by The Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation at The Miami Foundation. For more information, please visit


ArtsU Intensives are extended deep dive learning sessions of hyper-focused topics. These enriched e-learning sessions are an opportunity for members of the field to interact with, engage and immerse in crucial topics and concepts. Members of Americans for the Arts can access this activity at a discounted rate.


We are pleased to be able to offer registration support for those with limited resources who wish to register for this ArtsU Intensive. Sign up for the ArtsU Support program here. 

Allentza Michel

Founder and Creative Director

Powerful Pathways

Allentza Michel is an artist, urban planner, policy advocate and researcher with a background in community organizing and human service. She has 19 years of diverse experience across community & economic development, education, food security, public health and transportation in local, national and international settings. Her experiences, both professional and societal, inform her current work in civic design, community and organizational development, and social equity. 

Growing up and working in underserved communities in Boston led Allentza to coalition building and community planning, with a particular focus on mobility and neighborhood revitalization. She is the founder and creative director of Powerful Pathways, a social practice and consultancy that works in urban planning, policy, and placekeeping using arts, technology and design thinking methods with a racial justice approach. She currently serves as Program Officer for Arts and Culture with the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, where she is working with a national arts commission supporting research to promote arts education and the creative workforce development policy.

Allentza has held several volunteer community leadership roles, including founding and co-founding non-profit organizations and civic initiatives. She has served on many boards, civic groups and coalitions including the Network of Arts Administrators of Color Boston, and BAMS Fest, Boston’s premier music, arts and soul festival. Ms. Michel received a Master's in Public Tufts University's Department of Urban & Environmental Planning and Policy and studied Civic Media and Art Practice at Emerson College. She has BAs in English and Social and Political Systems from Pine Manor College and holds a graduate certificate in Non-profit Management from Boston University’s Questrom School of Business.


ArtsU Intensive: Placemaking vs Placekeeping: Steps to Doing More Equitable Art Interventions
Live event: 03/10/2022 at 12:00 PM (EST) You must register to access.
Part 2 - Placemaking vs Placekeeping: Steps to Doing More Equitable Art Interventions
Part 3 - Placemaking vs Placekeeping: Steps to Doing More Equitable Art Interventions
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