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A Case Study in Community Engagement & Public Art


The city of Muscatine, Iowa has an active arts community. They had the opportunity to utilize public spaces to create new opportunities for art to be enjoyed by everyone. The Muscatine Art Center and Muscatine Chamber of Commerce teamed up with a desire to engage citizens in thinking about how art could transform regular public spaces like a traffic circle, a downtown park, or even an entire riverfront. The Art Center and Chamber were looking for solutions that used art as a placemaking strategy. They wanted to create new experiences and bolster the art community while including both visual and performing arts.


Through a custom Innovation Works® recipe, the Art Center and Chamber focused on generating ideas that could be taken back to community leaders for implementation or inclusion in an arts master plan. To create an inclusive experience, both a virtual and live session were facilitated. More than 60 community members joined through the two sessions to generate solutions to the challenge.


“The flexibility of using a virtual and live session helped us engage even more people. The process generated good ideas and kick-started some conversations that needed to happen.”

- Melanie Alexander, Muscatine Art Center Director


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